Amrit, a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to make treatment for life threatening diseases more affordable in India, has achieved a key milestone with the opening of its 100th pharmacy on Monday.
A national programme, the Amrit (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) programme has achieved this milestone in just 20 months of its launch in November 2015. On Monday, 16 Amrit pharmacies were inaugurated in the states of Assam (12 outlets), Uttar Pradesh (2 outlets), Punjab (1 outlet) and Himachal Pradesh (1 outlet) adding to the 84 that are already operational across 18 states.
“The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, is committed to reducing the treatment cost of life threatening diseases and bringing about a change by making treatments affordable to every Indian,” said J.P. Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, after inaugurating the new Amrit pharmacy at the Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla.
“We have so far provided medicines worth Rs 300 crore for Rs 130 crore to the patients, giving a direct benefit of Rs 170 crore to the patients in the country through 84 Amrit pharmacy outlets currently operational,” the Minister said.
“The endeavor of Amrit is to reduce out of pocket expenses and make these medicines accessible to the larger public. We have requested all the state governments to provide the necessary infrastructure for setting up Amrit pharmacies to reach out the benefit to maximum people in the country,” the Minister added.
Amrit was initiated with the goal of making treatment for cancer and heart diseases more affordable in India. However, Amrit has expanded its product basket to specialties like Oncology, Cardiology, implants – Stents, Ortho implants, and medical disposables, apart from branded and branded generics.
Amrit outlets sell more than 5,200 drugs (including cardiovascular, cancer and diabetes medicines), implants including stents, surgical disposables and other consumables at significant discounts of up to 50 % to 60 % on market rates, based on authentic prescriptions from doctors, not only from the institutions where it is established, but even to patients availing of treatment at other hospitals.
Another major achievement of Amrit is making affordable stents for cardio-thoracic surgery in India.
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