The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre reasons for inviting bids for supply of CGHS medicines from drug manufacturers on the basis of brand names instead of their chemical composition and sought an explanation from the government.
"Why not go by composition," a vacation bench of justices Pratibha Rani and V Kameswar Rao asked the Centre and directed it to be ready with the reasons, for inviting tenders on the basis of brand names, on the next date of hearing.
"Be ready with valid reasons for inviting bids on the basis of brand names and not composition," the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on Monday.
The court was hearing a plea by a drug manufacturer, Globus Labs, which has contended that till the tender was floated and bids invited, all the medicines manufactured by it were being prescribed by the various clinics/wellness centres set up under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
But according to the tender document, several of the medicines manufactured by Globus have not been considered, while those having similar chemical composition but made by some other manufacturer have been included, the company alleged in its plea before the court.
The company alleged arbitrariness on the part of the government while inviting bids.
It has also contended that since tax payers money is used to provide medicines free of cost to patients, such funds should be well utilised by inviting bids from everyone and not a select few brands, so that medicines at the lowest possible prices are available.