‘File fresh affidavit on COVID drugs’

The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) Director to file a fresh affidavit, observing that an earlier one filed by the authority in response to its direction in a batch of PIL pleas connected to COVID-19 was “ambiguous and lacked clarity”.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said it was unfortunate that NPPA had failed to comply with the HC’s direction over Coronavirus-related matters. “Central government would not be permitted to play with lives of people who are running from pillar to post to secure life-saving drugs meant for treating Coronavirus-affected patients,” the CJ observed.

While people were finding it difficult to secure such life-saving drugs at reasonable prices, the Central government failed to include these medicines under National Life Saving Drugs list, the bench noted. On May 17, the bench instructed NPPA to include life-saving drugs prescribed for treating COVID-19 patients in the National List of Essential Medicines to bring down their prices within reach of all people. After perusing the affidavit filed by the authority on Wednesday, the bench expressed dissatisfaction stating that it was not clear what steps were taken to include COVID-19 drugs in essential medicines list. The bench instructed the authority to file a fresh affidavit by June 23.

The bench also took exception to the Telangana government not issuing a Government Order (GO) capping prices of diagnostic tests held for COVID-19 patients and their treatment, including hospitalisation. Health Secretary Syed Ali Murtuza Rizvi sought four weeks to release the GO. He claimed that the government was holding deliberations with private nursing homes and private hospitals on the matter.

“Poor people are being ripped apart by some rogue nursing homes and private hospitals everyday….when are you going to release the GO capping the prices?” the CJ said. The CJ also noted the HC had been granting time to the government whenever it sought to issue the GO on the matter but the GO was not being released. The bench made it clear to the Health Secretary that the GO should be issued by next date of hearing.

Crime Today News | Hyderabad



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