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A PIL bearing Writ Petition (Civil) No. 337/2018 titled as "Siddharth Dalmia & Anr. versus Union of India & Others" has been filed and the same was listed for hearing on 14.05.2018 before the Honble Supreme Court of India.
The said PIL seeks Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, banning the Hospitals from compelling and forcing the patients and their attendants to mandatorily purchase medicines, medical devices and implants, and medical consumables from the Hospitals or hospital pharmacies only, and further declare and direct that the patients and their attendants shall be free and have the choice to purchase medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from the vendor of their choice and the Hospitals cannot compel the patients their attendants to buy medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from Hospitals or hospital pharmacy, and give appropriate directions to the Respondents ban the above malpractices and protect the interests of the buyers of the medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables.
Also, the PIL seeks Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, directing the Respondents to ensure that appropriate notice boards are put at appropriate and prominent places in the Hospitals and the hospital pharmacies that the patients and their attendants are free and have the choice to purchase medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from the vendor of their choice including the hospital pharmacy
A Bench of Honble Mr. Justices SA Bobde and Honble Mr. Justice L Nageswara Rao which heard the matter on 14.05.2018 has been pleased to issue notice to the Central and State governments.
The case of the petitioners is that Hospitals and hospital pharmacies compel and force the patients to buy medicines from Hospitals and hospital pharmacies at MRP, or manipulated and artificially inflated prices leading to looting and profiteering at the cost of human life and suffering, when the medicines are available at lesser and heavily discounted prices in the open market from medical shops, retailers, dealers and distributors duly licensed and regulated by the Drug Control Department of state and central governments, by taking advantage of the ignorance, plight and adverse circumstances of the patients in the Hospitals all over India, and the Respondents despite knowing all these malpractices adopted by the Hospitals, have shut their eyes and totally ignored the interest and well-being of the patients, which they are bound to protect as the hospitals over which the Respondents have complete power and authority, and these acts of financial malpractices by the hospitals all over India are against the humans, humanity, morality and the right of the citizens of Indian to live a dignified and respectable life, and die in a dignified and peaceful way as mandated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Also, it is obligatory on the Respondents to provide best and affordable health care to the citizens of India, and such practices by the Hospitals, who are under the immediate control of the Respondents are against morality, public health, right to live a dignified and healthy life and public interest. And there is no law or policy framework to prevent this misuse, fleecing and looting by Hospitals, and the Respondents have left the people of India in the unscrupulous hands and the regressive regime of Hospitals.