Why force patients to buy medicines from hospital pharmacies: SC asks govt 

The Supreme Court has taken a stern view on the practice of the hospitals to compel patients to buy the medicines from the hospital pharmacy itself. The SC has issued a notice to the centre seeking a response on the same

Why force patients to buy medicines from hospital pharmacies: SC asks govt
Image Source: Google
  • The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the union government, to all the states and the union territories.
  • The SC has sought government’s response over why not to restrain the private hospitals from forcing patients to buy medicines from the hospital pharmacies.
  • A petition was filed by a Delhi-based student, Sidharth Dalmia and his father, a Delhi-based lawyer, Vijay Pal Dalmia.
  • The petition alleged that were overcharged for each injection which they had purchased from the hospital pharmacy, for Vijay Pal’s wife’s breast cancer treatment.

Have you ever faced a situation where you had been compelled to buy medicines from the hospital’s pharmacy? If you ask this question, the majority of people would say yes. The medicines in the hospital pharmacies are costlier as compared to the outside shops.

But, now this practice of the private hospitals has come under the scanner of the Supreme Court. While hearing a petition filed by a Delhi-based lawyer and his son, the SC has issued a notice to the Centre and the states. The SC has sought government’s response with regards to why not to ban such practice.  The bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageshwara Rao has agreed to hear the petition.

The petition alleged that, they had to pay Rs 21,000 more for each Beciltis injection which they had purchased from the hospital’s pharmacy.

He alleged that he paid Rs 61,132 for the said injection in the hospital’s pharmacy, while the cost of same medicine manufactured by the company was sold in the open market at a discounted price of Rs 50,000.

Moreover, if one purchase four injections together then an additional one injection was given free of cost, so, the effective price would come down to around Rs 40,000 for each injection.

The petition demanded that the court should direct the government to ban hospital from compelling patients to buy medicines from the hospital pharmacy.

The petition also alleged that these malpractices, by the hospital all over India, are against human, humanity and the rights of the Indian citizen, to live a dignified and respectful life.

The SC has sought government’s response on the issue of inflated costs.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, petitioner and advocate Vijay Pal Dalmia said, “These acts of financial malpractices by the hospitals all over India are against the humans, humanity, morality and the right of the citizens of India to live a dignified and respectable life, and the fact that it is also obligatory on the government to provide best and affordable health care to the citizens of India. Such practices by the hospitals, which are under the immediate control of the government, are against public health, right to live a dignified and healthy life, and public interest and morality.”