On July 5, 2016, the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, included Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya in his cabinet. Apart from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Prime Minister made him a Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers too. When the Modi government was elected in 2014, only 99 Jan Aushadhi Kendras functioned under yojana with a basket of only 150 medicines, half of which were not available at these Kendras.

When Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya started working with this ministry, the number of Janaushadhi Kendras had barely reached 300. He studied the Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Project (PMBJP) and met Late Ananth Kumar ji, the then cabinet minister responsible for the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, to talk about this scheme. Late Ananth Kumar ji got emotional and said that his mother had died of cancer and cancer medicines are very expensive, and told Mansukh Bhai, Janaushadhi Kendra project is a scheme for the poor, do it with your heart and move forward in the direction of providing the poor with affordable and quality medicines.

Thereafter, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya met with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and expressed his willingness to work on this scheme since this is an important scheme for the benefit of the poor. After listening patiently, the Prime Minister encouraged him and asked him to prepare a report that should outline the potential, drawbacks and solutions of the Jan Aushadhi Yojana. After this, Dr. Mandaviya made a detailed study of the various dimensions of this scheme and started working towards making this scheme a success story.

He observed that the team responsible for the implementation of this project is facing multiple problems at various levels. The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), currently known as the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI) is responsible for the implementation of this scheme. While working toward making this scheme a success, he realized shortly that the team is not as capable as it should be to work efficiently in the competitive environment to make this scheme successful. The need of the hour was to improve the work culture of BPPI.

The work culture of BPPI was not the only challenge but other issues like the supply of medicines, and complaints from the suppliers regarding payment delays were hampering the implementation of the entire scheme. Medicines reaching Jan Aushadhi Kendras on time was also a big challenge since the supply system at the time was not as sound as it should have been for the effective implementation of such a massive scheme. One of the major challenges was that when there was a tender for drugs, it took a long time from issuance of tender to drug delivery. The medicine used to reach the BPPI godown in six-seven months and it was taking two-three months extra to test it again. It means the whole process was taking a time of nine to ten months. Dr. Mandaviya solved this problem through personal intervention.

To solve these problems, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya started working on two levels. On the one hand, he analysed various aspects related to this scheme in detail and on the other hand, he increased his participation in the day-to-day working of BPPI. During that period, Dr. Mandaviya started working with BPPI not only as a minister of the department but also as its CEO.

He shared his experiences related to this scheme with the Honourable Prime Minister. After considering them, PM took the much-needed initiative to improve the functioning of this important scheme. Thereafter, Modi Government relaunched this scheme as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana.

He kept working tirelessly to make PMBJP a grand success. Under his leadership, there were many administrative and supply side reforms. He took various personal initiatives like encouraging doctors to prescribe generic medicines. Dr. Mandaviya himself visited every state with the store opening form to make people aware of this project and to encourage them to open new stores. He visited and met the Chief Ministers of various states to explain the benefits of this scheme and seek their cooperation to open these stores. He wrote letters to all the MPs about the project, interacted with the MPs and requested them to facilitate the opening of these stores in their respective constituencies.
This hard work of Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya started paying off in a matter of a few days.  He had set a target of opening 3,000 Janaushadhi stores by March 2017, this target was achieved within the stipulated time frame.

The result of the work done on the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Project ( under the leadership of Dr. Mandaviya has turned this scheme into a ‘Silent Revolution’ for our society. When Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya took up charge of this scheme, there were only 300 stores at that time. As of 31 March 2022, the number reached 8610. The availability of affordable and quality generic medicines at these stores is resulting in huge financial savings for the masses. About Rs. 15,000 Crores have been saved of the general public and for the first time ever PMBJP crossed Rs. 100 Crore sales in May, 2022

It is the result of Dr. Mandaviya’s hard work that 1616 medicines are being made available through Janaushadhi Kendras. In 2014, not a single surgical item was available through these stores. Today, these stores are providing 250 types of surgical devices to common people. Under the leadership of Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, people’s confidence in this scheme has increased to such an extent that people often refer to Janaushadhi Kendras as ‘Modi ji ki Dukaan’

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