New Delhi, Aug 18 : The Supreme Court was told on Thursday that the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) has accused the Makers of Dolo-650 Tablets of offering freebies worth approximately 1000 crores to doctors in exchange to prescribe the tablet.Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh, representing Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India in the case, argued before an appeals court led by justice D.Y.Chandrachud Dolo had invested Rs .1,000 core in freebies to get its anti-fever medicine given to patients.
Justice Chandrachud said that it is a serious Problem and that he was prescribed the same treatment during Covid and added, “I was also asked to undergo the same procedure when I was in Covid.” He said “This is an important Problem and a matter.”
The bench, including justice A.S.BoPanna, asked the Additional Solicitor General K.M.Natraj representing the Centre to submit a response within 10 days.
The apex court heard an PIL seeking instructions to make pharmaceutical companies accountable for providing freebies to doctors in exchange for incentives to prescribe their medicines.
The plea read: “Petitioners seek enforcement of the fundamental right to health which is protected in the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India in the light of the ever-growing instances of unprofessional marketing practices being employed of Pharmaceutical Companies in their dealings with healthcare professionals that result in the prescription of excessive and/or unreasonable drugs and a preference for expensive and/or over-priced products that directly impact the citizens’ health, violating their rights under Article 21 of Constitution.”
The plea said that it’s high-time that the gap in making sure that patients’ right to health is filled in urgently by a law that is appropriate.The plea also stated that there are numerous examples that demonstrate that the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry can cause favorable health outcomes , and places the patients’ health at risk.
“As violations of these kinds have become a common occurrence and are gradually becoming more commonplace, the petitioners request that an Statutory code of ethical marketing in the pharmaceutical industry with sanctions, be put in place to curb these practices to ensure the protection of the fundamental right to Health of the people of India,” added the plea.
The plea claimed that due the nature of voluntary of the code in place illegal practices continue to rise and have been exposed in COVID-19 time periods.