Are Pharmaceutical Companies Indulging in Illegal Activities To 'Spread' Viral Diseases? Madras High Court Seeks Report From State
The Madras High Court on Friday directed the State government to file a report on the reasons behind the frequent 'spread' of viral diseases in Tamil Nadu.
Justice SM Subramaniam passed the order while hearing a plea of a Medical Store officer who was accused of procuring excess medicine beyond permissible limit, which expired and caused great financial loss to the State Exchequer.
The court at the outset noted that there are "wider allegations in the public domain" that expired medicines are supplied to the poor patients in government hospitals.
"That apart, in recent days, frequently diseases are out breaking, despite the fact that the Government announced various sanitation programs. After COVID-19, Monkey Pox and thereafter, Influenza and many more are spreading across the State of Tamil Nadu. These viral diseases are spreading continuously and the reason for such spreading over are not found out by the Medical Researchers, and competent authorities of the State," said the court.
Justice Subramaniam also said that the public has doubts whether any miscreants are committing some illegalities "in the matter of spreading such diseases" for personal gain "in an organised manner.
Even the Supreme Court has recently recorded the fact that pharmaceutical companies have made money in thousands of crores "by promoting their brand in an unethical manner", the bench said.
"Whether these pharmaceutical companies are indulging in any other illegal activities for spreading these kind of viral diseases or not, are also to be enquired into and an investigation is imminent. Whether the State is monitoring the activities of the pharmaceutical companies, supply of medicines to the Government Hospitals and private traders, all to be considered by this Court in order to ensure, health being an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it becomes the Fundamental Rights of citizen," it added.
Directing the Secretary to the Department of Health and Family Welfare; Dean of Coimbatore Medical College Hospital and Director of Medical Education to submit their reports in the case for further consideration, the court said:
"The 1st respondent is directed to furnish the reasons and details regarding the spreading over of viral diseases, one after another, without any gap in the State of Tamil Nadu and by conducting necessary enquiry and to ascertain the activities of these pharmaceutical companies and other medicine traders," it said while posting the matter for orders on October 27.
Case Title: S Muthumalai Rani v. The Secretary and others
Case No: W.P.No.34112 of 2016