Cheaper drugs must, SC tells Centre

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reminded the government that providing cheaper drugs should be its prime concern and wondered why it required a push from the court for taking steps in this regard.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya, however, said that the court would examine the government’s decision to put 348 essential drugs under the price control mechanism of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy 2012.

The court said that it would wait till the decision was notified by the government. Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the Centre, informed the court that the cabinet took the decision on November 22 and an affidavit was filed two days later.

Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for NGO All India Drug Action Network, submitted the government’s decision was communicated through the press and expressed his apprehension that the prices of drugs were not likely fall.   

 It allowed Luthra’s plea seeking two weeks time in order to place on record a notification based on the cabinet decision.

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