Generic medicines become a boon to rural poor

Generic medicines become a boon to rural poor
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The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) is the pioneer in opening the generic medical shops both in urban and rural areas by using the services of women groups. In every mandal, the DRDA works with Mahila Samakhyas which are running the medical shops in 15 mandals in the district.

Bukkarayasamudram (Anantapur): The generic medicines being made available in generic medical shops at cost-effective prices is gaining popularity in rural areas in the district.

There is a huge demand for the medical shops which are operating in selective mandals in the district as people find that medical bills are coming down every month by Rs 300 to Rs 500 when they purchase medicines in the generic medical shops.

The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) is the pioneer in opening the generic medical shops both in urban and rural areas by using the services of women groups. In every mandal, the DRDA works with Mahila Samakhyas which are running the medical shops in 15 mandals in the district.

It is actually a Central government initiative being implemented through the DRDA.Presently, the shops are operating in the mandals of Narpala, Gorantla, Rayadurg, Madakasira, Battalapalle, Kadiri, Penukonda and a few other mandals. Depending upon the value of the medicines and their production costs, the cost margins are 20 per cent to 60 percent lesser than the general medical shops.

For example, a combination of diabetes medicines Glimepiride, metformin plus Oglibo costs Rs 110 (10 tablets) in any medical shop, whereas the same is sold at Rs 50.

Similarly the antibiotics prices are available at one third of the price of the non-generic medical shop. Sanjeevani, a Generic Medical shop pharmacist Maruthi Prasad talking to The Hans India stated that people are thronging the lone generic medical shop near government hospital for medicines.

He feels that more such shops have to be opened to cater to the needs of the poor and lower middle class who find it a boon
to them as they are able to save substantial amounts. Mohammadullah and Ali Khan, regular customers of the shop in
Anantapur, said they are ableto save Rs 300 to Rs 500 every month on drugs purchase.

DRDA Project Director Venkateswarlu told The Hans India that to cater to the demand for generic medical shops 15 more mandals would get one medical shop each shortly.

In a phased manner, these medicines will be made available to all mandals. He said that the medicines are made available at subsidised prices by the manufacturers as they are able to eliminate the patent tax, publicity expenditure and medical representatives’ salaries collected by manufacturers.

The generic medicines suppliers do not have medical representatives nor collect patent tax nor indulge in publicity expenditure. That's why the medicines are made available at almost the manufacturing costs, he added.

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