Covid-19: HC asks Maharashtra if it was willing to make medicines available for critical patients
The bench of justice K K Tated and justice N R Borkar has directed the government to file an affidavit disclosing its stand on the issue by October 2Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 12:54 IST
The Bombay high court on Friday directed Maharashtra government to disclose on affidavit if it was willing to make available the medicines required to support critical Covid-19 patients at government and private hospitals, wherever such patients were being treated.
The bench of justice K K Tated and justice N R Borkar has directed the government to file an affidavit disclosing its stand on the issue by October 2.
The directive came on a public interest litigation filed by a non-profit organisation complaining about black marketing of medicines for treatment of critical Covid-19 patients.
In his plea, Jayesh Mirani, president of All Maharashtra Human Rights Welfare Association, has sought a direction to the state government to make Remdesivir 100 , Actimera 400 injections and Fabiflu tablets available at the government and private hospitals assigned for treatment of Covid-19 patients and also at medical stores.
His counsel, advocate Prashant Pandey, claimed that the medicines were available only with six suppliers in Mumbai.
Besides, people are forced to pay exorbitant amounts for these medicines, Pandey said. For example, he said, Remdesivir 100 injection has the maximum retail price of Rs 3,000, but is being sold in black market for over Rs 30,000, and therefore it was necessary that the injections and the tablet is made available directly at the Covid care centres.
Government pleader Purnima Kantharia said one of the prayers of the petitioner was to also make the medicines available over the counter at medical stores and it will have to be seen if it was permissible and feasible.
The bench posted the PIL for further hearing on October 6.
Mirani has said in his PIL that Maharashtra is the worst affected state in India, both in terms of Covid-19 infections and the number of deaths caused by corona virus. But, the state authorities did not place orders for these drugs approved for sale in India on June 22, 2020, and bulk of the doses have gone to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Assam and private hospitals which had placed advance orders for the same.