Essential medicines to be provided free of cost in public health facilities

The Government plans to provide essential drugs free of cost in public health facilities.


New Delhi, August 9, 2012: Essential drugs will soon be available free of cost in the public health facilities in order to provide affordable healthcare to people. As per the written reply of Srikant Kumar Jena, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers in Lok Sabha, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has informed that they have taken the initiative of free supply of essential medicines in public health facilities in the country.


The move is considered as an aim to provide affordable healthcare to people by reducing their expenses on medicines.


"The initiative is based on the Tamil Nadu model where free medicines procured in bulk by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC), in generic name, directly from the manufacturers is supplied through an IT enabled supply chain management system to the public," Jena said.


Under the initiative, MoUs would be signed with the states and the states would be encouraged to set up TNMSC like institutions or use any existing institution with sufficient autonomy for bulk procurement of essential drugs in generic names directly from the manufacturers, he added.


Once the MoUs are in place, strict instructions will be issued to the medical officers in public health facilities directing them to prescribe generic medicines.


Under this initiative, the drugs would be supplied by the district warehouses via an IT backed supply chain management system. In fact, the states will involve the Rogi Kalyan Samitis in order to make sure that the free supply of medicines in public health facilities is properly and effectively implemented.


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