The Union Government of India on 24 August 2013 approved the initiative for free supply of essential medicines to the patients availing treatments under 12th five year plan. Under this initiative, rational use of medicines would be promoted by reducing the consumption of inessential medicines.
The initiative is aimed towards making affordable health care available to the people and to reduce the out of pocket expenses on medicines. 16000 crore rupees has been provided as an outlay of the initiative.
The scheme is based on the Tamil Nadu model, where free medicines are procured in bulk directly from the manufacturers and are supplied through an IT enabled management system to the public.