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Patanjali Case: Supreme Court asks IMA to address medical ethics.

In the ongoing Patanjali case, the Supreme Court has issued a significant directive aimed IMA to ensure ethical practices within the realm of modern medicine.

Specifically, the Court has called upon the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to address concerns regarding the prescription of expensive and potentially unnecessary medications. This directive underscores the Court’s commitment to upholding the integrity and ethical standards of the medical profession.

The Court’s directive was made in response to a plea filed by the IMA against what it perceived as a smear campaign orchestrated by Patanjali and its founders against the COVID-19 vaccination drive and modern medical practices. Throughout the proceedings, the Court has been vigilant in scrutinizing the claims and actions of both parties involved.

While the Court has previously admonished Patanjali and its founders, Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, for making misleading claims regarding the efficacy of their medicines, it also took the opportunity to address concerns regarding the conduct of the IMA. Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah expressed reservations about instances where the IMA may have been involved in prescribing expensive medications that may not have been necessary for patients’ treatment. This observation highlights the Court’s recognition of the need for transparency and accountability within the medical community.

Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah highlighted concerns regarding prescription of expensive and unnecessary medicines.

“The petitioner (IMA) needs to put its own house in order regarding alleged unethical acts of the petitioner organisation where medicines are prescribed which are expensive and unnecessary. Whenever there is misuse of the position by the petitioner association to prescribe expensive medicines, the line of treatment needs closer examination,” the Court said.

Moreover, the Court’s scrutiny extended beyond the immediate parties involved in the case. It also took note of an intervention seeking to impose costs on the IMA for filing its complaint. This intervention, which the Court deemed potentially motivated by ulterior motives, prompted further examination of the broader issues at hand.

The Bench also took note of an intervention application seeking imposition of costs on the IMA.

There is an intervention which wants us to impose ₹1,000 crores on IMA as costs for filing this complaint. Looks like a proxy plea on your behalf, Mr. Rohatgi,” Justice Kohli remarked.

I have nothing to do with this,” Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing for Patanjali, replied.

We are very curious about the timing of the application.. Looks like an interloper and not an intervention,” the Court observed

In light of these developments, the Court signaled its intention to delve deeper into allegations against the IMA regarding the prescription of unnecessary medications. This indicates a proactive approach to ensuring that medical practitioners adhere to ethical standards and prioritize patients’ well-being above all else.

Furthermore, the Court emphasized the importance of scrutinizing the implementation of relevant laws, such as the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, which governs the advertising and promotion of medicines. The proliferation of misleading advertisements, particularly those targeting vulnerable populations such as babies, children, and the elderly, has raised concerns about public health and safety.

Also read: Patanjali Ayurved Case: Supreme Court Raps Baba Ramdev in Contempt Case Over Misleading Advertisements

To address these concerns comprehensively, the Court proposed involving ministries responsible for consumer affairs, information and broadcasting, and information technology. By engaging these stakeholders, the Court aims to enforce existing regulations and prevent the dissemination of misleading information that could harm consumers’ health.

Overall, the Supreme Court’s directive in the Patanjali case reflects its commitment to upholding ethical standards within the medical profession and ensuring the integrity of healthcare practices. By holding both medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions, the Court seeks to safeguard public health and promote trust in the medical profession.

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