Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 09:06 PM IST

Ministry of Health's AMRIT scheme completes one year

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 16:49 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov.16 (ANI): The flagship programme of the Union Health ministry - AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) - to provide affordable life-saving cancer, cardiac drugs and medical disposables has successfully completed its first year, serving over five lakh patients and saving them a collective Rs 30 crore in medical costs.

The AMRIT programme was launched by the Union Health Minister Shri J P Nadda in November 2015 and is being implemented through mini-ratna PSU HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which has been setting up pharmacies at major hospitals across the country to dispense the medicines.

HLL has already opened 16 AMRIT pharmacies in major cities across the country, with nine more ready to go operational soon and five additional ones under construction out of a target of 284 outlets in the next two years.

This is in addition to the 52 AMRIT Deen Dayal pharmacies that were opened across the state of Gujarat on Monday (14.11.2016).

The primary goal of AMRIT is to make available and accessible, at very affordable rates, all drugs, implants, surgical disposables that are not dispensed free of cost by the hospitals.

The AMRIT pharmacies stock nearly 2,200 drugs, surgical disposables and implants (including for cardiovascular, cancer and diabetes, stents etc.) that are offered at an average discount of 63 percent on medicines.

In the first year of operation, the AMRIT pharmacies have benefited a total of 5.14 lakh patients. They have achieved collective sales of 18.51 crores of medicines worth Rs 48.19 crores in MRP, resulting in total savings of Rs 29.68 crores.

"We are extremely proud to have achieved a milestone of servicing more than 5 lakh patients in the very first year of operation. This number will continue to exponentially grow as we open more pharmacy outlets in different states," said HLL Chairman and Managing Director Shri R P Khandelwal. "Our goal is to ensure that no patient is deprived of life-saving and other drugs for reasons of unaffordability."

The first AMRIT pharmacy opened at AIIMS in New Delhi, with the capital city now having four in total. AMRIT outlets have been opened in major government hospitals in cities including Chandigarh, Raipur, Rishikesh, Pondicherry, Bhopal, Guwahati, Shillong and Imphal. Cities where the pharmacies will be operational soon include Nagpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Tezpur, Jorhat and Agartala.

MoHFW is hoping that initiatives such as AMRIT, which offer affordable drugs and medical implants will ease the burden of the common man, especially the underserved. (ANI)