SC issues notice on PIL seeking action against doctors who do not prescribe medicines

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra sought response from the Centre, all state governments, Ethics and Medical Registration Board

The Supreme Court of India (photo: NH File Photo)
The Supreme Court of India (photo: NH File Photo)
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IANS

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a PIL seeking disciplinary actions against doctors who fail to prescribe generic medicines. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra sought response from the Centre, all state governments, Ethics and Medical Registration Board (erstwhile Medical Council of India) and others in the matter. 

Advocate K.C. Jain, the petitioner, apprised the bench that regulations emphasizing the importance of prescribing generic medicines, which were notified back in 2002, remain largely unimplemented in practice. 

He said that the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, which highlight the significance of prescribing drugs by their generic names, exist solely within legal frameworks.

The plea said that affordability of medicines is a vital factor that contributes to effective healthcare delivery and the realization of the ‘right to health’. 

“Generic drugs, which have the same active ingredients as their branded counterparts but are not marketed under a specific brand name, are often significantly cheaper. The prices of generic medicines (off-patented) can be 50 per cent to 90 per cent lower than those of branded medicines,” stated the petition. 

It sought directions to the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority to fix the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of Non Scheduled formulations and off-patented generic medicines.

“By prescribing generic drugs, healthcare professionals can help alleviate the financial burden on patients and facilitate their access to vital medications,” the plea said. 

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Published: 19 Aug 2023, 10:57 AM
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