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SC notice on plea over preferring generic medicine

Posted on Aug 13 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to the Centre, state governments, Union Territory administrations and the Drug Controller of India on a petition seeking direction to purchase drugs by their generic name instead of buying medicines marketed under brand names.

The bench of Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice V. Gopala Gowda said "though there is a policy for the use of generic medicine, the same is not followed in proper perspective as a result of which a large number of cheaper medicine of the same generic composition are not available for treatment".

The notice is returnable in six weeks.

Noting that the petition by advocate Reepak Kansal contains a number of prayers, the court in its order said "the basic grievance which is demonstrable from the assertions made in the petition is that despite the National Health Policy introduced in 2002 for the use of generic drugs, and which fundamentally is a policy for ensuring health services for the country, the policy is not being appropriately implemented".

As a consequence, the court said "people living below the poverty line or slightly above it are not able to get medicines at the time of their suffering".

Appointing counsel B.H. Mariapalle as amicus curiae, the court said: "We are only inclined to issue notice on the basis of what we have said above."

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