In a bid to make low-cost medicines more accessible, the health ministry is working to increase the number of AMRIT pharmacy stores by four times by this year end from the existing 111 outlets, Health Minister J P Nadda said.
The medicine buyers have saved over Rs 267 crore by buying drugs from AMRIT (Affordable medicine and reliable implants for treatment) stores, which have benefited over 52 lakh patients, Nadda told reporters.
The total maximum retail price of the medicines sold off these stores was 486 crore but their sale price was Rs 219 crore, saving Rs 267 crore of buyers.
The medicines cost anywhere between 60 to 90 per cent less than the market price, he said.
“We are working very fast on opening more stores. We want one store in every district,” he said.
Asked what was the target the government was looking at, he said they expected to increase its numbers by four times by the end of this year.
“The Centre depends on states to provide it land to open these stores,” Nadda said.
The ministry has also made 384 dialysis centre, where people falling in the below poverty line (BPL) category are offered free of cost service, he said, underlining the governments efforts to make health care affordable for the poor.
Nadda also said that the government had identified 146 high-fertility districts in seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam, to stabilise Indias population.
He noted that 24 states and union territories had achieved the total fertility rate of 2.1, which is the required target for stabilising the population.
The ministry has done micro-planning for each of these districts so that issues specific to them could be tackled to reduce their fertility rate, he said.