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Many generic drugs go off Jan Aushadhi shelves

Sahana S

UMTA will make all modes of transport accessible to people

Jan Aushadhi stores, opened under a central government scheme, are facing  a shortage of diabetes, hypertension, and cancer drugs. Though there is a huge demand, multiple issues have kept these medicines off the shelves.
“This is my first visit to the store. Though rates are less here, tenoretric (used to treat hypertension) is not available,” Geetha KC, a   a resident of NR Colony, informed The Observer.
The Jan Aushadhi Kendras were established to provide quality generic medicines to the poor cheaper than at drug stores. Out of the 35 Kendras in Bengaluru, at least seven don’t have these medicines.
According to the website www.medicine.net, generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs that have exactly the same dosage, intended use, effects, side-effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength as the original drug. 
When The Observer contacted the Jan Aushadhi stores at Mahalakshmi Layout, Tata Silk Farm, NR Colony, JP Nagar, Yelahanka, Rajarajeshwarinagar and Mallathalli, the managers blamed the lack of supply on bulk orders and transport issues.
Venkatesh.R, the store manager at Mahalakshmi Layout, said that they have 300 to 400 generic tablets to treat hypertension, diabetes and cancer, but medicines like Glimepiride, Glarzine, and Imatanib are in short supply because they take six months to be delivered.
The stores at Tata Silk Farm, NR Colony, JP Nagar , Yelahanka, Rajarajeshwarinagar and Mallathalli face the same problem.
Vinutha Mohan, manager at Tata Silk Farm, said while general medicines like paracetamol, antibiotics and cholesterol tablets are available, drugs like Glimepiride will be replenished within 15 days.
While at Rajarajeshwarinagar there is no insulin, there is a scarcity of hypertension and diabetes medicines in JP Nagar, according to store managers Sunil HR and K Hemanthkumar.
Matters have improved, though, at Mallathalli  after an initial shortage of drugs, store manager Satyanarayana.S shared.
Supervisor Chintamani Prasad at NR Colony blamed inadequate production and patent issues for non-availability of tablets like human insulin, and Basalog Injection. 
The store managers ask customers to come a week later.
Phanindra C, an officer at Canara Bank, told The Observer: “I came to buy first aid kits and regular medicines like Axcer tablet. They keep on postponing.”
Many customers said the stores must display lists of unavailable medicines, so that they can go elsewhere to buy the drugs.
Retired health department official Mokashi .Vsaid: “I prefer Jan Aushadhi stores to normal drug stores, but most drugs like paracetamol are unavailable, and they don’t even put up a list of unavailable medicines.”
Homemaker Sharadha.R is a regular visitor to the Jan Aushadhi store at Mahalakshmi Layout. She buys most of her requirements from the outlet. Despite shortages, people like her still flock to the kendras because medicines are cheaper there.