Pharma Jan Samadhan
The Pharma Jan Samadhan (PJS) is part of Digital India initiative, which aims at empowering the citizens through a transparent, accountable and responsive governance system. It is a web enabled system for redressal of consumers’ grievances relating to pricing and availability of medicines, and refusal of supply for sale of any medicine without good, sufficient reason and sale of new medicines without prior approval of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). NPPA will initiate action on any complaint within 48 hrs of its receipt. Apart from the internet- based online facility, there is a consumer Help Line also, which can be used to lodge complaints.
Pharma Jan Samadhan (PJS) launched in March 2015, is a speedy and effective complaint redressal system to serve as a robust e-governance tool for protection of consumers’ interests through effective implementation of the Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013. It may be recalled here that all essential medicines specified in the National List of Essential Medicines, 2011 (NLEM) included in the First Schedule of DPCO, 2013 are covered under price control. However, Life saving drug is not defined in the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.
NPPA monitors availability of drugs, identifies shortages, if any, and takes remedial steps and implements and enforces the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
It is worthmentioning here that there is another ambitious project of the government called Pharma Price Data Bank. This is an integrated Pharmaceutical Database Management System, managed and operated by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). This is the first data bank of Pharma industry to help the manufacturers, regulator and the common masses.
In this endeavour National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is not only a regulator but also a facilitator. A pharma-literacy initiative has been created to spread awareness among the people and act as deterrence against black-marketing, spurious medicines, and inflated cost of drugs. In a nutshell this scheme focuses on strengthening the three pillars of pharma industry – quality, availability and affordability of medicines.
The NPPA recently announced extending its “Pharma Jan Samadhan” web-portal facility to smart phones, to identify cases of drug makers and retailers overcharging consumers for life –saving, often expensive medicines. The Android-based version of the app – “Search Medicine Price” has been launched by the National Informatics Centre. By using the app, consumers can search for the ceiling price of all medicines under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) on the basis of its generic name and the state they’re buying it from. Consumers will have up-to-date MRPs for all the medicines capped under NLEM 2011 and 2015, as NPPA intends on simultaneous incorporation of any ceiling price fixes and revisions on the app.