Chennai: The Madras high court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu health department to ascertain whether any pharmaceutical company has a role in spreading viral diseases such as Covid-19 and monkey pox. The court also directed the department to conduct an inquiry and report the reason behind ‘continuous spread’ of such diseases by October 27.
“Whether pharmaceutical companies are indulging in illegal activities for spreading these kind of viral diseases to be enquired into,” Justice S M Subramaniam said. “There are wider allegations in the public domain that expired medicines are supplied to poor patients in government hospitals in urban and rural areas. There is a doubt in the public domain whether any miscreants are committing some illegalities in the matter of spreading such diseases in society for their personal gain in an organised manner,” the court said.
It made the observations on a plea moved by a medical store officer of a government hospital who was penalised for procuring excess medicines, which could not be used before their expiry date, resulting in financial loss to the state exchequer. The judge further said that the Supreme Court had recently recorded that pharmaceutical companies made thousands of crores of rupees by promoting their brand in an unethical manner.