In order to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure for the consumers, the Union Health Ministry has established a total of 172 Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) pharmacies across 20 states and 3 Union Territories (UTs) in the country to make available and accessible branded drugs, implants, surgicals and disposables at affordable prices.
AMRIT retail outlets are opened in partnership with both central government and state government medical institutions.
Rolled out pan- India in 2015, AMRIT pharmacies sell branded drugs such as those used for treating cancer and cardiovascular diseases at average discounts of up to 60% of MRP. Unlike Jan Aushadhi stores, which are run by the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, AMRIT stores do not sell generic drugs.
AMRIT retail pharmacy network offers more than 5,200 drugs, implants, surgical disposables and other consumables. It offers availability of generic and lifesaving branded drugs under one roof.
Gujarat leads with maximum number of 61 AMRIT retail pharmacy stores followed by Assam at 34.
This is followed by 14 AMRIT pharmacies in Uttar Pradesh, five in Punjab, seven each in New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chandigarh, eight in Maharashtra, three in Himachal Pradesh, six in Haryana, two each in Bihar, Chattisgarh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha and Uttarakhand and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Rajasthan and Puducherry.
The first AMRIT retail pharmacy was opened on November 15, 2015 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Rates offered for all types of drugs and surgical disposables are highly economical and savings of up to 60% to the patients. In case of short supply of essential drugs from the free dispensing pharmacies, hospitals do local purchases from the approved vendors at a higher cost. AMRIT supplies these items at much lower rates.
AMRIT retail pharmacies cater to both cash and credit customers. Working hours are from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm during week days or 24×7 or during timings convenient as required by the partner institutions.