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Rajasthan’s free medicine scheme ranked first

Topics Covered:

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Rajasthan’s free medicine scheme ranked first


What to study?

For Prelims: Key features and significance of the scheme.

For Mains: Can it be implemented at the national level? Challenges therein and ways to address them.


Context: Rajasthan’s flagship free medicine scheme, launched in 2011-12, has once again secured the first rank from the National Health Mission.



The State registered 94.59% of online free medicine distribution at counters in public health facilities and 84.76% use of the drugs and vaccine distribution management system at primary health centres.


About the Scheme:

Rajasthan Mukhyamantri Nishulk Dava Yojana was launched on 2nd October 2011.

It has 2 components:

  1. Free Medicines: To provide commonly-used essential medicines free of cost to patients visiting government healthcare institutions (introduced on 2nd October 2011), and
  2. Free Tests: To provide free tests (introduced on 7th April 2013).

For the successful implementation of the same, Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation Limited (RMSCL) was incorporated as a Public Limited Company.

Since 2011, it has benefitted around 67 crore patients, and a record number of 712 medicines are covered under it.


How are these schemes ranked?

National Health Mission under its Free Drug Service Initiative, started giving rankings to the states, in order to encourage them to provide free drugs to their patients coming to public health facilities.

Aim:  to reduce out of pocket expenditure of patients suffering from cancer, heart and kidney-related diseases, and other severe ailments.

Implemented by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in order to support the states.


The performance of the states was assessed by NHM on the basis of 10 parameters including: The stock of drugs, Value of drugs about to expire, and Effective compliance with the Drugs and Vaccine Distribution Management System (DVDMS), etc.



  • Rewarding the states will act as a catalyst for ensuring the inclusive accessibility and affordability of health care services to the most downtrodden and the poorest sections of our society.
  • This will also promote the spirit of co-operative and competitive federalism, whereby other states can take the lead and follow similar successful initiatives.


Sources: the Hindu.