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HC notice to Punjab on high cost of cancer drugs

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times   Chandigarh, February 26, 2013
First Published: 20:46 IST(26/2/2013) | Last Updated: 20:48 IST(26/2/2013)

Pained at the fleecing of cancer patients in Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued a notice to the state government.

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The high court took suo motu notice of a letter from Bhai Kanhaiya Cancer Roko Sewa Society of Faridkot in which it had sought action against pharmaceutical companies that overcharged customers by printing excess maximum retail price (MRP) on medicines.

The case came up for hearing before the division bench headed by chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri. The society cited the case of Guru Gobind Singh Medical Hospital, Faridkot, that had purchased medicines directly from reputed companies recently. The original price of the drug was Rs. 1,738 but the MRP on the pack was Rs. 19,800. A medicine for which the hospital had paid only Rs. 611 carried the MRP tag of Rs. 7,200.

The society enclosed numerous bills from local chemists to show that the pharmacists sold the medicines for a far higher price than original. Issuing notices to the state government to file its reply by March 21, the high court appointed lawyer HC Arora as amicus curiae (friend of the court).

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