Discovering Goodness #12: Read and Act to reduce your medicine bill by 75% or more !

Let me come straight to the point. This is about Jan Aushadi Kendra, a breakthrough foray into the profitable pharma market in India.

Yes, I am referring to the bold, successful and far reaching effort launched by PM – Narendra Modi. Don’t dismiss this post, as we usually do for many of the schemes launched by the Govt. I urge you to read on. This has been extremely well executed with immediate gains for the citizens who avail this service.

Having consulted and followed the prescription and advice of my family physician for more than 2 weeks, I had to then consult a dermatologist since the infection was not at all subsiding.

She wrote a prescription and assured that I would be alright in 3-4 weeks. She sounded quite assuring. She prescribed me KZ cream and KZ soap. The consultation was for precisely 3 minutes and the fee charged was Rs 700/- (My family physician charges Rs 450/- per consultation)

These days, medicines prescribed by the specialist doctor are already stocked at the clinic itself. The pharma folks find different ways of generating sales and also enhancing the income of the doctors (not all doctors are like this. I don’t mean to generalise here, but then its prevalent certainly)

Here I need to tell you about Brand Name and Composition and about generic drugs.

Let me give you some examples

  • Brand: Dolo 650
  • Composition: Paracetamol 650 mg
  • Manufacturer: Micro Labs Ltd
  • Brand: Dart
  • Composition: Paracetamol 300 mg + Caffeine 50 mg + Phenazone 150 mg
  • Manufacturer: Juggat Pharma

Doctors are ideally supposed to write the composition in our prescription and leave the choice of Brand for us to decide. Since different brands offer the same medicine (same composition) at different rates. Check this link to know this better. https://www.medplusmart.com/product/DOLO-650MG-TAB/DOLO0023 . However, doctors mostly prescribe Brand name and we end up buying the same.

Drugs discovered by a Pharma Company would enjoy a patent period during which only that company manufactures the medicine. Once the patent expires, the same composition can be manufactured by any other pharmaceutical company also. This is when we call the drug as a generic drug. So obviously different companies will have different pricing strategies.

Much of the above can be learnt online, easily.

So the dermatologist prescribed me KZ cream and KZ soap. These are brand names. What then is the composition? Its Ketoconazole 2%. (Like paracetamol in Dolo 650)

This time, for the first time, I went to one of the Jan Aushadi Kendra in Jayanagar. I was sceptical of being able to find the medicines. But I was stunned at the availability, price and efficiency !

It costed me Rs 18/- to buy the Jan Aushadi Brand tube of Ketoconazole 2%.

What about the price of KZ Brand. The same 15 gms tube would have costed me around Rs 88.5/- so that’s around 79% saving ! But since the minimum size available is 30 gms (Rs 177/-) your savings could be more based on your usage.

Similar is the case for KZ soap.

That’s not it. There is also an awesome app to know if the medicine you are looking for is available, where is the nearest store and what your savings is going to be.

Here is an example

What are you waiting for. Find the nearest Jan Aushadi Kendra (There are more than 6000 of them already in India and 161 operational centres in Bangalore Urban itself) and start making educated purchases. Don’t buy just by brands. Buy based on compositions and save your hard earned money.

So this is how I am going to go about my future medicine purchases.

Steps

  1. Check the composition of the medicine prescribed. There are many websites to check this.
  2. Check with Jan Aushadi Kendra or Jan Aushadi Sugam App if any generic drug is available for the exact same composition
  3. If available, I will buy from the Jan Aushadi Kendra
  4. Else, check for other brands of same compistion and decide which brand to buy.

Result

Save 75% and more.

9 Comments

  1. We source medicin for jan audhadi stores medical bills have nearly been slashed to 1/3. Many city folks have good awareness on these store. A decent queue can be observed.

    Liked by 1 person

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