The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday sought response from the Drugs Controller General of India and Punjab Drug Controller following submissions in a public-interest petition that 32 blood banks in the state were running without valid licence.
The petitioner, Hindustan Welfare Blood Donors Club, submitted that seven blood banks run by the government and 25 in the private sector were in operation even after the expiry of licence, 10 years ago in many cases.
It claimed that even the central government authorities had failed to act against these blood banks, allowing overcharging.
Posting the matter for further hearing on January 22, the high court bench of justice SK Mittal and justice Shekher Dhawan sought responses from the Drugs Controller General of India and Drug Controller, Punjab. In August, the Punjab government had accepted in the court that some private hospitals in the state charged patients up to Rs 17,000 per unit as processing fee for providing them with blood components, and even some government hospitals asked for a processing fee well over what the regulatory body had fixed, the government affidavit has revealed.
The petitioner seeks the regulation of blood banks, alleging that the private ones in Punjab charged patients between Rs 2,700 and Rs 4,000 per unit of blood against Rs 1,400 that the central government had fixed.