Supreme Court Order in the AIDAN Drug Pricing PIL – Oct 11, 2011

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ITEM NO.101 COURT NO.7 SECTION PIL
S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO(s). 423 OF 2003
ALL INDIA DRUG ACTION NETWORK AND ORS. Petitioner(s)
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. Respondent(s)

(With appln(s) for permission to submit additional
document(s),PERMISSION TO FILE ADDITIONAL AFFIDAVIT)
Date: 11/10/2011 This Petition was called on for hearing today.
CORAM :
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. SINGHVI
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Colin Gonsalves, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Anuj Castleino, Adv.
Ms.Jyoti Mendiratta,Adv.(Not present)
For Respondent(s) Mr. T.S.Doabia, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Ashok Bhan, Sr. Adv.
Ms. Rekha Pandey, Adv.
Ms. Sadhana Sandhu, Adv.
Mr. R.K.Rathore, Adv.
Ms. Asha G. Nair, Adv.
Mr. Shalinder Saini, Adv.
Mr. P. Parmeswaran ,Adv(Not present)
Mr. D.S. Mahra ,Adv(Not present)
UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following O R D E R

At the commencement of hearing Shri Colin Gonsalves,
learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners read
out portions of 45th Report of the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Health and Family Welfare and 7th Report of the
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Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers.
Thereafter, Shri Doabia, learned senior counsel appearing
for the Union of India placed before the Court a photostat copy of the Office Memorandum dated 20.06.2011 sent by the
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to the Secretary,
Department of Pharmaceuticals on the issue of revision of
National List of Essential Medicines. Paragraph 2 of that
memorandum reads thus:
“2. In the above connection, it may be
stated that the National List of Essential
List (NLEM), 2003 has been revised. The
revised list, the NLEM, 2011 contains 348
drugs. While approving the list, the
Minister of Health & Family Welfare has also
approved that if affordable healthcare has
to become a reality, all the medicines
included in the NLEM, 2011 should be brought
within the ambit of price control under the
DPCO, considering the fact that the cost of
medicines in the overall cost of healthcare
constitutes more than 60% and a large
percentage of our people do not have access
to affordable healthcare. If, at all, such
medicines cannot be included under DPCO with
the same trade margins, there could be
graded system of trade/profit margins for
different categories and 348 medicines in
NLEM, 2011 could be so categorized. This
will ensure that reasonable margins and
growth of Pharma industry also do not get
adversely affected. The Minister has,
therefore, approved taking up the matter
with the Department of Pharmaceuticals for
further appropriate action.”
Shri Ashok Bhan, learned senior counsel appearing
for the Department of Chemicals and Fertilizers also placed
before the Court a xerox copy of Office Memorandum dated
04/05.10.2011. In para 6 thereof, it is mentioned that the
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Department of Pharmaceuticals is examining all the
possibilities of control and monitoring of prices of
medicines including those covered under the NLEM, 2011.
Having perused the two Office Memorandums placed by
the learned senior counsel for Union of India and Department
of Chemicals and Fertilizers, we deem it proper to direct
the Secretaries of two Ministries to file their affidavits within four weeks indicating therein as to within what time
the revised list of National List of Essential Medicines
(NLEM) will be added in Schedule-I of the Drugs (Price
Control) order, 1995.
A comprehensive revised list of National List of
Essential Medicines (NLEM) be also produced along with
affidavit to be filed on behalf of the Ministry of Family &
Welfare.
List the case on 17.11.2011 for further hearing.
(Parveen Kr. Chawla) (Phoolan Wati Arora)
Court Master                Court Master

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