Economy

Kerala CM warns pharma cos against predatory pricing

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 28, 2011 Published on September 28, 2011

The Kerala Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, has said that stringent action would be taken against pharmaceutical companies indulging in predatory pricing and seeking to profit from the agony of consumers.

Speaking in the State Assembly here, he shared the concern of members with respect to the plight of hapless consumers at a time when parts of the State have been caught in the grip of an epidemic outbreak.

GOVT INTERVENTION

The Chief Minister said that the Medical Services Corporation, a State Government undertaking, would be encouraged to involve itself more actively in taking up the distribution of medicines.

According to the Health Minister, Mr Adoor Prakash, adequate stocks of medicines for treatment of leptospirosis and dengue fever have been made available in the State.

The State Government is proceeding with a slew of steps aimed at holding the priceline of essential medicines. The Chief Minister would meet with representatives of the pharma companies in this regard.

Earlier, the Opposition took the Government to task for a statement made by the Health Minister in which he quoted a fact-finding team from the Centre as observing that most of the death cases featured damaged liver apparently from excess use of alcohol.

OPPOSITION WALKOUT

This, the Opposition said, was made in poor taste and hurt the sentiments of the families of the deceased.

The Minister regretted his remarks made during the course of a press conference on Tuesday. The Chief Minister too shared the sentiment and said he was sorry for any unintentional hurt caused to the bereaved families.

The House also witnessed a walkout by the Opposition accusing the Government of covert attempts at taking over control of the Kerala State Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Development Bank, the apex State-level bank.

VOTING RIGHTS

This, according to the Opposition, was sought to be achieved through issuance of an ordinance dated August 12 to cancel registration of six primary cooperative agricultural and rural development banks with voting rights in elections to the State-level bank.

The State Government countered the charge by saying that this was done as per the directions of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).

Even the Kerala High Court had upheld the ordinance, according to the Chief Minister, which was proof of its bona fide in the matter.

Published on September 28, 2011
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