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PMBJP Kendras to sell nutraceuticals

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 15, Mar 2022
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The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras have added nutraceuticals products, including protein powder and bar, malt-based food supplements and immunity bar for its customers.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) 

  • It is being run by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India. 
  • Vision: To bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India through providing “Quality generic Medicines at Affordable Prices”.
  • Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Kendra is a medical outlet opened under the scheme which makes quality medicines available at affordable prices for all.
    • Currently, PMBJP Kendras have been providing accessible, standardised and affordable generic medicines to the citizens.
    • Product basket of PMBJP Kendras presently comprises 1,451 drugs and 240 surgical instruments.
    • The government has also set a target to increase their number to 10,500 by the end of March 2025.
  • Janaushadhi Sugam, a mobile application for PMBJP facilitates the public by providing a digital platform at the tip of their fingers.
  • Under the PMBJP, a medicine is priced on the principle of a maximum of 50% of the average price of the top three brands of the said medicine. 
    • Thus, the prices of Jan Aushadhi medicines are cheaper at least by 50% and in some cases, by 80% to 90% of the market price of the branded medicines.
  • In India, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority under the Department of Pharmaceuticals regulates the prices of all drugs, whether branded or generic. 
    • It fixes the ceiling price of scheduled medicines specified in the first schedule of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013.
    • In the case of non-scheduled medicines, the manufactures are free to fix the maximum retail price (MRP) of the drug.

What are Nutraceuticals?

  • A nutraceutical or ‘bioceutical’ is a pharmaceutical alternative which claims physiological benefits.
  • Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources that are purported to provide extra health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
  • Criticism: Because nutraceuticals and bioceuticals are largely unregulated, these supplements are the subject of more of marketing hype than actual clinical testing, and for many, it is not even yet known whether they provide more benefits than risks for consumers