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Firm ordered to pay Rs 2 lakh compensation for failing to deliver cancer drug  

Ruling in favour of a patient, a consumer court in Bengaluru has ordered a medical supplies firm to compensate over Rs 2 lakh for failing to deliver two crucial vials of cancer medication on time.
Last Updated : 29 April 2024, 22:13 IST
Last Updated : 29 April 2024, 22:13 IST

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Bengaluru: Ruling in favour of a patient, a consumer court in Bengaluru has ordered a medical supplies firm to compensate over Rs 2 lakh for failing to deliver two crucial vials of cancer medication on time.

The lawsuit originated from a complaint filed by MC Ramesh, a resident of Malleswaram, last November.

Ramesh accused Life Care Medicals, on the Pune-Nashik Highway in Maharashtra, of neglecting to fulfil his order for two essential 50 mg vials of the cancer drug, Brentuximab.

The firm quoted Rs 70,186 per vial, totalling Rs 1,40,371.84 for the two vials. On August 23, Ramesh paid an advance of Rs 70,372 and agreed to settle the balance on delivery of the drug. He placed the order under the assurance that his employer, Bharat Heavy Electronics Limited (BHEL), would fully reimburse the drug's cost. Subsequently, Ramesh paid the outstanding amount and additional charges in the following days.

Despite Ramesh's efforts, the firm failed to deliver the medicine as promised. Consequently, in September 2023, Ramesh issued a legal notice to the firm. However, the firm did not adhere to the notice's demands.

Ramesh approached the 3rd Additional Bangalore Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on November 16 to file a complaint against the firm. The firm did not challenge the evidence presented.

The bench ruled that the firm’s actions amounted to unfair trade practice and deficiency of service. It ordered the firm to repay the complainant Rs 1,77,267, the sum total of all payments made by the complainant, with interest at the rate of 9% per annum.

In addition to the compensation for the medication, the court also ordered the firm to pay Rs 20,000 for the mental distress to the complainant and Rs 10,000 for litigation expenses. Failure to comply with this order will result in the sum of Rs 30,000 accruing interest at a rate of 9% per annum until the amount is fully realised.

What is Brentuximab?

Oncologists in the city said that Brentuximab is a life-saving cancer drug that is sold only through a prescription for the treatment of lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system), especially Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

It is administered intravenously only by specialists, and targets proteins on the cancer cells, blocking and killing the growth of these cells in the body.

In India, it is generally priced between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per vial.

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Published 29 April 2024, 22:13 IST

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