After the success of its 108 emergency services, the Gujarat government is now proposing setting up medical stores across the state to sell medicines at subsidised rates.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Pharmac India 2011, state minister for health and tourism, Jaynarayan Vyas said that the state government would set up medical stores that would sell generic unbranded medicines.
Held by the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA), Pharmac India 2011 is the second international exhibition of India's prominent pharma and healthcare industry
"Government would buy these generic medicines directly from manufacturers under its purchase program. The idea is to offer affordable medicines to consumers across the state," said Vyas. Elaborating on the proposed plan, Vyas said that a generic medicine like paracetamol will be sold in an unbranded version at one-third of its market price. Vyas, however, did not comment on the number of such proposed stores across the state.
Similarly, talking about more such plans, Vyas said that the government is also proposing to offer 104 services, on the lines of the 108 emergency services. Under this, the government would hire medical doctors who would be available round-the-clock for offering medical advice on phone for common diseases.
Later, speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Maheshwar Sahu, principal secretary, industry and mines, Government of Gujarat invited the pharma industry body IDMA to hold the third edition of Pharmac India at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit (VGGIS) in 2013.
According to KS Chhabra, secretary, IDMA Gujarat Chapter, about 300 stalls have been set up at the three-day exhibition which is expected to see 20,000 footfalls this year. "When held alongwith VGGIS 2013, we are expecting over 1,000 stalls, given the response this year from participants," said Chhabra.
While nationally IDMA has over 750 members, around 180 of these are from Gujarat.