The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India has undertaken an ambitious initiative to spend $5 billion for providing the most essential medicines under a “free-medicines-for-all” scheme to the poorest and the most vulnerable people of India.
It is exciting to note that the 348 drugs that the Government will provide free of cost under the scheme are the most essential lifesaving medicines including anesthetics, anti-AIDS, anti-psychotic, steroid, anti-ulcer, cholesterol-busting and cancer healing medicines, which are usually beyond the affordability of the majority of the population, resulting in their prolonged illness and premature death. This initiatives is a part of the Indian government’s latest five-year spending programme (2012-17) and is expected to start in October. The health ministry hopes by 2017, some 52 percent of Indians or some 600 million people will have access to the drug scheme.
PPD congratulate H.E Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chair of PPD Board, Minister of Health and Family welfare India and the Government of India wholeheartedly on this unprecedented initiative and wish its brilliant success. PPD beleive that the provision for free distribution of essential lifesaving medicines will improve life expectancy of millions of peoples and India will be blessed with manifold benefits from this groundbreaking initiative from which other developing countries. PPD member states will also benefit enormously from India’s experiences and lessons learned.