Accessibility, Acceptability, Affordability: A National Perspective Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana 2015


Objectives of the Scheme:

Making quality medicines available at affordable prices for all, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, through exclusive outlets “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras”, so as to reduce out of pocket expenses in healthcare.


To bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India through providing Quality generic Medicines at Affordable Prices.


  • 1. Create awareness among public regarding generic medicines.
  • 2. Create demand for generic medicines through medical practioners.
  • 3. Create awareness through education and awareness program that high price need not be synonymous with high quality.
  • 4. Provide all the commonly used generic medicines covering all the therapeutic groups.
  • 5. Provide all the related health care products too under the scheme.

PMBJP Campaign:

It is a well-known fact that branded medicines are sold at significantly higher prices in India. Given the widespread poverty across the country, making available reasonably priced quality medicines in the market would benefit everyone, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.This has been always a major concern for the Government of India. Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers has been taking several regulatory and fiscal measures from time to time towards realizing this objective.

“Jan Aushadhi” is the novel project launched by Government of India in the year 2008 for the noble cause – Quality Medicinesat Affordable Prices for All. The Campaign was undertaken through sale of generic medicines through exclusive outlets namely “Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra” in various districts of the country. The first “Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra” was opened on 25thNov 2008 at Amritsar in Punjab.

Initially, it was proposed that the PMBJP Campaign be implemented during 11th Five Year Plan period starting from 2008-09, with the target, at least one Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in each of the 630 districts of the country, to be extended to sub-divisional levels as well as major towns and village centers by 2012. It was envisaged that the scheme would run on a self-sustaining business model, and not be dependent on government subsidies or assistance beyond the initial support. It was to be run on the principle of “No Profit, No loss”.

PMBJP Campaign 2008-2012:

This novel project launched by Government of India in 2008 has not reached anywhere near the desired objectives. Much reliance was placed on the CPSUs for supply of medicines to the PMBJP scheme. However, the experience was that CPSUs were not able to cope with the increasing demand of the drugs and the range of medicines which needed to be kept at the Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra as CPSUs had a limited coverage of therapeutic groups and dosage forms. Further, as far as in-house production of medicines by CPSUs was concerned, they were able to cover only 130 medicines out of 319 medicines identified for availability at JAS. Around 85 products covering only about 11 therapeutic groups were made available and physical availability was even much less.

The scheme had heavy dependence upon State Governments for prescription of generic medicines and for opening Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in Government Hospitals.The original plan was to open at least one Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in each and every one of the 630 districts of our country. However as on 31st March 2012, only 157 stores could be opened and later many of them became non-functional too.

The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) was entrusted with a third party evaluation and they submitted its report on 18th Dec, 2012 under the title “Rapid Assessment and Potential Scale up of PMBJP Scheme”.

The main observations of the report were:

  • Over dependence on support from State Government.
  • Poor Supply Chain management with frequent stock out situation.
  • Basket of drugs is not fully representative and comprehensive resulting in poor public response and disproportionate expiries. Only 85 medicines spread across 11 therapeutic categories were supplied to stores and the mean availability of these drugs was found to be 33%, with wide variations across therapeutic categories.
  • Non-prescription of generic medicines.
  • Free medicines distribution schemes by Central / State Governments viz., Haryana, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu-Free Supply of Drugs affected viability of JAS of Government Hospitals.
  • Lack of awareness.

Thus, a limited portfolio of medicines coupled with chronic stock-outs seriously eroded the credibility of these stores as customers desire a one-stop shop for all prescribed drugs. Extremely low sales volume of drugs due to stock-outs and poor awareness at the level of patients also adversely impacted operational costs. Even those stores with high sales volume had found it difficult to recoup operational expenses. PMBJP Campaign 2013-15:

As on 31st March 2012, only 149 stores were functional, and half of them got closed during 2012-13. To have an accelerated growth of the Campaign, a New Business Plan was released during Aug 2013 with an ambitious target of opening 3000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras by the end of 2016-17 with a planned budget of Rs.148.82 Cr. The plan also contained few changes in the scheme. Still by the end of the financial year, 2014-15, the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras could reach a level of 99 only.The number of medicines included in the product basket were only around 200 and physical availability was only 50% of the basket.

PMBJP Campaign 2015-16:

Effective implementation of PMBJP scheme has been analyzed in a big way through organizing brain storming sessions and discussions with various stake holders and a Strategic Action Plan (SAP 2015) was prepared and submitted so as to achieve the objectives set by the Government.Key areas of significance identified were Availability, Acceptability, Accessibility, Affordability, Awareness and Effective Implementation of the Scheme. SAP 2015 was approved by the Hon’ble Minister for C&F in September, 2015.

Status as on 31st March 2016:

  • Product basket contains 954+ items (800+ drugs & 154 surgical & consumables).
  • Medicines offered cover all the most commonly known therapeutic groups.
  • Actions initiated to take this figure to 1000 by the end of March 2017.
  • Supply Chain: From Suppliers → CWH → Distributors → PMBJP Kendra
  • BPPI has established a central warehouse at Sugal Logistics Park, Bilaspur, Gurugram, Haryana.
  • C&F agents and 35 Distributors appointed spread over different States/UTs.
  • 5000+ Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras spread over 35 States/UTs already commenced operation.

Name of the Scheme:

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

Implementation Agency for PMBJP:

BPPI (Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India), under the administrative control of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India will be the implementation agency for the PMBJP.

BPPI has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, with the support of all the Pharma CPSUs for coordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras. In April 2010, BPPI got registered as an independent society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 as a separate legal entity. BPPI follows the provisions of GFR 2005 and CVC guidelines as amended from time to time and also instructions from the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Funding of PMBJP

Government of India is providing full financial support to BPPI during the initial years. However, when the scheme is established, BPPI will make efforts to recover as much as possible of its expenses incurred on its salary, wages, office expenses, and publicity expenses through trade margin. To that extent Government support will stand reduced.

Key features of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP):

  • 1. State Governments or any organization / reputed NGOs / Trusts / Private hospitals / Charitable institutions / Doctors / Unemployed pharmacist/ individualentrepreneurs are eligible to apply for new Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras.
  • 2. The applicants shall have to employ one B Pharma / D Pharma degree holder as Pharmacist in their proposed store.
  • 3. Applications shall be submitted to BPPI either online or offline.
  • 4. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras can be located within Government hospital premises as well as Private hospital premises or anywhere outside.
  • 5. In addition to medicines and surgical items supplied by BPPI, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras will be allowed to sell allied medical products commonly sold in chemist shops so as to improve the viability of running the Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra.
  • 6. BPPI shall source the medicines both from Pharma PSUs as well as from Private companies. However, PSUs would have the first right to supply the products that they manufacture in their plants. BPPI shall ensure that private manufactures are only reputed organisations by incorporating strict terms and conditions in the tender specifications.
  • 7. Tendering for medicines shall be only through e tendering. All the tendering process shall be completely transparent giving equal opportunity for all the participants.
  • 8. BPPI shall establish a Central Ware House, C&F agents at different locations and Distributors in all the States/UTs.
  • 9. On receipt of goods at their central ware house, BPPI shall draw samples and sent them to NABL accredited laboratories for inspection. Only after receipt of quality certification from the inspecting laboratories, goods shall be dispatched to C&F agents and Distributors.
  • 10. BPPI shall plan and undertake suitable media activities so as to spread the message of generic medicines and to achieve the objectives of the PMBJP.
  • 11. Financial support to applicants: An amount of Rs. 2.5 lakhs shall be extended to NGOs/agencies/individuals establishing Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in Government hospital premises where space is provided free of cost by Government to operating agency: Rs. 1 lakh reimbursement of furniture and fixtures Rs. 1 lakh by way of free medicines in the beginning Rs. 0.50 lakh as reimbursement for computer and peripherals, internet, etc.
  • For the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras established anywhere else by private entrepreneurs / institutions / NGOs / Trusts / Charitable organizations which are linked with BPPI headquarters through internet shall be extended an incentive up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs. This will be given @ 15% of monthly sales subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10,000/- per month up to a limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs. In north easternStates, i.e. naxal affected areas and tribal areas, the rate of incentive will be 15% and subject to monthly ceiling of Rs. 15,000 and total limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs.

  • 12. 20% trade margin shall be included in MRPfor retailers and 10% for distributors.
  • 13. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras and Distributors will be allowed 2% of total sales or actual loss, whichever is lower, as compensation against expiry of medicines. Expired goods need not be returned to BPPI. Stocks expiring at the C&F level will entirely be the loss of BPPI.
  • 14. Credit facility will be given to all Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras for 30 days against postdated cheques. Distributors will also get credit of 60 days againstpostdated cheques. C&F agencies will have to deposit a security amount depending upon the business.
  • 15. BPPI shall arrange suitable training program for the entrepreneurs who do not have any experience in running medicine shops.
  • 16. Institutions / Charitable organisations / NGOs who are procuring medicines for own consumption / free distribution to poor and needy will be allowed to procure medicines from BPPI CFA agents.

Amendment to PMBJP:

Any major amendments in the scheme shall be done only with the approval of the Hon’ble Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers. However minor amendments can be done by the steering committee. Hon’ble MoS and Hon’ble Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers shall be kept informed by the Chairman, Steering committee.

Monitoring of the Project:

Progress of implementation of the project and the target achieved shall be monitored by the steering committee comprising Secretary (Pharma), Joint Secretary (Pharma), Director (Pharma), all the MDs/CMDs of Pharma PSUs, President, Secretary and CEO of BPPI.

Scheme Outlay 2016-17:

Number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras envisaged: 3000 by March 2017.

1. Coverage All the Districts in the Country.
2. Number of products in the basket 800+ Drugs & 154 Surgical Items
3. Type of products Medicines, Surgicals & Consumables, Stents & Replacements etc.


An amount of 35 Cr. had been allotted in the budget 2016-17. Supplementary budget shall be allocated on receipt of proposal from DoP.

Strategy and Approach:

All State Governments shall be directed to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in Government run hospitals and medical colleges.

Memorandum of Understanding shall be entered into with reputed organisations / NGOs / Trusts / Charitable institutions for opening large number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras across the country.

Applications shall be invited through press media from Private hospitals and other institutions / registered medical practitioners / individual entrepreneurs for opening Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras.

All PSUs having township shall be approached to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in their township.

To further ensure viability of running Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras, possibilities of establishing Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in Kisan Centres / Common Service Centres / other different retail outlets shall be encouraged.

Others factor related to Success of the Scheme:

The success of this initiative is dependent on other agencies too, such as Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, State Governments, active co-operation of Hon’ble members of Parliament, Hon’ble members of different Legislative assemblies, IMA, Hospitals run by Private groups and Charitable institutions, NGOs, Practicing Doctors etc. Stateswhich are having their own schemes like free distribution of medicines are to be coupled with PMBJP scheme. Non-prescription of Generic Medicines by the doctors is another factor. BPPI is continuing their efforts to persuade Doctors to prescribe only generic medicines. For this BPPI is working in close association with other organizations and Govt. departments. Seminars / Workshops inviting Doctors, Scientists, Government officials and other stakeholders will be also organized.

PMBJP Scheme ahead

The endeavor of BPPI is to make available at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras all the commonly used generic drugs covering all the therapeutic groups. In the coming years, PMBJP scheme shall provide the complete spectrum of Health care products and services, starting from making available all the generic drugs covering all the therapeutic groups. Product basket to contain 800 Drugs and 154 Surgical items by March 2019 and to include stents and replacements.