New Delhi: The Centre has asked state governments to consider opening AMRIT pharmacies, which sells drugs at a highly discounted rates, to reduce the expenditure incurred by common patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
"We have now 12 Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlets across the country.
More than 2141 drugs (including cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, stents, etc) for treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases are being sold through AMRIT at a discount of more than 70 per cent to the patients," Health Minister J P Nadda said while inaugurating the three outlets.
The three outlets were inaugurated by him through video conferencing at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, and All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS)in Jodhpur in the presence of Minister of State for DONER Jitendra Singh.
"The AMRIT clinics have sold drugs worth Rs 28 crores as per the MRP. However, the costs to the patients through these outlets have only been Rs 9 crores. This has resulted in saving of Rs 19 crores out of pocket expenditure to the patients," Nadda said.
Nadda said that the benefits of the AMRIT clinics can be availed by both in-patients as well as out-patients and around 300 outlets will be started by the end of this year while the basket of choices of drugs will also be enhanced.
"We are exploring the possibility of scaling up the facility and also making it accessible to larger number of people in various parts of the country.
"The state governments have been informed about the AMRIT pharmacies and have been advised to consider opening such pharmacies," Nadda said while adding that he would urge medical colleges in states to come and take up this facility.
AMRIT project has been floated in a tie-up with government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which is mandated to establish and run the AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.
Jitendra Singh said that this initiative is going to be a big boost to the healthcare in the region.
"It will not only go a long way in providing cost-effective medicines to lower strata of the society but through this we will also have a healthcare system that will be more trustworthy," he said.