The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced to increase number of AMRIT pharmacy stores by four times by end of 2018 from the existing 111 outlets in bid to make low-cost medicines more accessible.
So far, 52 lakh patients have been benefited by buying discounted drugs (60 to 90% less than market price) from AMRIT (Affordable medicine and reliable implants for treatment) stores and have saved over Rs. 267 crore. The total maximum retail price of medicines sold off these 111 AMRIT stores was Rs. 486 crore but their sale price was Rs 219 crore.
The AMRIT (Affordable medicine and reliable implants for treatment) scheme aims to reduce expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and cardio vascular (heart) diseases to make health care affordable for poor. Its intended beneficiaries are patients suffering from cancer and heart diseases (non-communicable diseases).
Under it, retail outlets in the name of AMRIT pharmacy are opened to sell drugs for cancer and heart diseases at highly discounted rates on market rates. The project is implemented by government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which is deputed to establish and run AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.
These drugs and implants under the scheme will be sold based upon authentic prescriptions from doctors. At the AMRIT outlets, 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs will be available at reduced rate of 60 to 90% compared to market rates.