June 19, 2024

Supreme Court highlighted concerns regarding prescription of expensive & unnecessary medicines

IMA should also put its house in order; address unethical practices in modern medicine, said Supreme Court

New Delhi. IMA should put its house in order and address unethical practices in modern medicine and hospitals like prescribing expensive medicines which are unnecessary, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah highlighted concerns regarding prescription of expensive and unnecessary medicines.

“The petitioner (IMA) needs to put its own house in order regarding alleged unethical acts of the petitioner organisation where medicines are prescribed which are expensive and unnecessary. Whenever there is misuse of the position by the petitioner association to prescribe expensive medicines, the line of treatment needs closer examination,” the Court said.

The observation was made while hearing a plea by IMA itself against an alleged smear campaign carried out by Patanjali and its founders.

The Court has in the past few hearings in the case come down strongly upon Patanjali and its founders Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna for misleading claims regarding Patanjali’s medicines.

The Bench also took note of an intervention application seeking imposition of costs on the IMA.

“There is an intervention which wants us to impose ₹1,000 crores on IMA as costs for filing this complaint. Looks like a proxy plea on your behalf, Mr. Rohatgi,” Justice Kohli remarked.

“I have nothing to do with this,” Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing for Patanjali, replied.

“We are very curious about the timing of the application.. Looks like an interloper and not an intervention,” the Court observed while orally indicating that it was inclined to impose costs on the applicant.

The Court indicated that it would also look into certain allegations against the IMA regarding unnecessary medical prescriptions.

The Court further said that issues relating to the implementation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act require closer scrutiny, and this extended beyond just the respondents as other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) are also many times found to be disseminating misleading advertisements which deceive the public.

“Particular affecting health of babies and children, elderly, who have been consuming medicines after the misleading ads…This court is of the opinion that along with misleading ads issued in print and electronic media, it is necessary to implead: consumer affairs’, information and broadcasting, IT ministries to see the violations of the drugs and magic remedies act, drugs and cosmetics act and the consumer protection act,” it added.

Inputs – Bar&Bench

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