Govt Warns of Action on Hosps Selling Drugs above Retail Price
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04 June 2010
The Tamil Nadu government has warned of legal action against hospitals that sell medicines at a rate more than the maximum retail price (MRP) and maintain them in unsanitary conditions, endangering the life and health of the public.
The commissioner of consumer protection said that it had been brought to his notice that certain hospitals were selling drugs in excess of the MRP to patients after removing the packages/labels of drugs consisting of details like manufacturer’s name, date of manufacture, batch number, date of expiry and the MRP.
Stating that it was a serious violation, he said consumers could pursue legal action against such hospitals under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, by filing complaints with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. The department would also take appropriate action against perpetrators by claiming compensation for financial loss caused to patients who had been charged more than the MRP, he said and added that as per the Code of Ethics Regulations 2002, Medical Council of India, it was obligatory for doctors to uphold laws and rules.
He said patients as consumers were to be protected against restrictive and unfair practices adopted by providers of medical services such as hospitals.
Any public or voluntary consumer organisations, which come to know of sale of medicines at prices higher than MRP, may contact local drug inspectors or file a complaint with district collector, also the chairman of district consumer protection council.
Based on a recent complaint, inspections were conducted at a private hospital in Tirunelveli district and it was found that medicines sold to patients were kept in unsanitary conditions.
Purchase vouchers had not been maintained and medicines were being sold to patients without obtaining proper licence.
Sales were also being made without providing TNGST/TIN registration number in the bills, the commissioner and warned of legal action against errin