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Sindh High Court summons Chief Secretary, multinationals over costly purchase of medicines

Karachi, February 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Sindh High Court (SHC) has admitted another petition against Sindh Government for purchasing costly hepatitis medicines from multinationals in violation of prevalent rules and regulation.

A Single Bench of SHC comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi heard petition filed by a social worker Javed Barki through Haider Imam Rizvi advocate and issued notices to Sindh government including Chief Secretary, Secretary Health, DG Health Services, Program Manager Hepatitis Control Programme Dr. Kazim Raza and two multinational companies.

The petitioner sought court’s intervention against award of hepatitis tender to multinational companies Roche and Schering Plough terming it illegal, exploitative and based on personal interests. Mr. Rizvi, counsel for the petitioner argued that the hepatitis tender has been awarded to foreign companies in violation of the law on exorbitant prices in collusion with the Sindh government.

If allowed, the deal would cause great loss to the public exchequer and public health as purchase of costly medicines i.e. Ropegra (Rs.5525) per vial and Pegintron (Rs.5000) per vial is not justified. How can the companies buy hepatitis drug 190 to 138 percent higher rates by compromising interests of country, province and suffering patients, he questioned.

The authorities could have purchased the same medicine on prices as low as Rs 1900 or Rs 2100 which are being used by leading health institutions across Pakistan, to facilitate more patients to be treated, said Haider Imam Rizvi.

The petitioner asked the court to order an inquiry against government officials involved in tender processes for awarding tender to foreign multinational companies in violation of Sindh Procurement Laws.

The SHC asked the authorities and private respondents on to appear and submit their responses on February 25. With the current petition, the number of petitions against purchase of costly hepatitis medicine by Government of Sindh in SHC has climbed to three.

For more information, contact:
High Court of Sindh
Near Passport Office Saddar and Sindh Secretariat,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-21) 99203151-9
Fax: (+92-21) 99203221, (+92-21) 99203224
Email: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk
Web: www.sindhhighcourt.gov.pk

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