Don't raise price of medicines: SC
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Pointing out that the price of medicines prescribed by doctors is going beyond the reach of the common man, the Supreme Court today made it clear to the Centre that it should not form a pharma policy which may cause increase in the price of essential drugs.
It also slammed the government for not controlling the price of such drugs during the last 17 years.
A bench of justice G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya said rugs prescribed by the doctors is going beyond the reach of the common man and "any formula for price fixation which goes against common man should be quashed".
"Drugs prescribed by the doctors---eminent and not so eminent--- is going beyond the reach of the common man," the bench said adding "people have to go hungry for paying the medicine bill".
The bench pulled up the government for not taking any decision on bringing more drugs under the price control after 1999 and during the pendency of case before it for the last nine years.
"Let it be clear that formula for fixing price for essential medicines should not be changed," the bench said when it was pleaded that the new policy could lead increase in price.
"Pricing policy should not be such that by that policy prices of medicines get increased," the bench said.
It said government can have concern for drug manufacturers but it must have "substantial concern" for the common man
During the arguments, the apex court asked Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra to take specific instruction from the government as to when the new drug policy would be notified.
"The courts are extremely slow in interfering in the policy matters but where the people would go if the government fails to take decision in 17 years"? the bench said.
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