Abstract of Dissertation

Keyword : Deendayal Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Stores; Awareness of Services; Patient Satisfaction; DPMJAS; Generic Medicines; Out of Packet Expenditure

Background : It is a common understanding that branded medicines are sold at significantly higher prices in India. The out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare is high and hence making available reasonably priced quality medicines in the market would benefit everyone, especially the poor. The objective of this study is to assess the awareness of consumers regarding the services offered by the Deendayal Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Scheme (DPMJAS) stores and about the scheme itself; and to assess satisfaction among users of DPMJAS stores.

Methodology : A survey was conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire at 10 DPMJAS stores in various regions in Gujarat and a sample size of 300 was taken in order to fulfill the objectives. Dimensions such as availability, accessibility, acceptability and awareness was examined.

Findings : Majority (73%) of the respondents knew about the scheme, while only 41% knew about generic drugs and 59% were unaware about the same. While 100% of the respondents who were aware, believed that generic drugs were of good quality, this shows that there is wider acceptability of these drugs. About 73% reported for and 81% reported for other facilities like seating arrangement, air-conditioning. A remarkable 95% was happy with the staff at the store and the location of the store, as it was easily accessible. 82% said that there was no delay in billing. 68% was unaware regarding the fact that the store sells health related products too. The list containing the prices of the drugs in the open market and the store was compared and the differences in the price helped the researcher conclude that the medicines are cheaper by 30 % to 80%.

Recommendations :The study revealed respondents were satisfied with the physical premises of the stores and the staff inside the stores and majority said there was minimum delay in billing and the store was easy to access. The highlight is definitely the price of the medicines, and most of them came to the stores for cheaper drugs even if they were not getting treatment from the particular hospital where the store is located. Acceptability could be increased by promoting the G-DAWA app and with the help of the doctors. Government together with the citizens can achieve the goal of health for all and reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure.