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Dolo-650 makers gave freebies worth Rs 1,000 crore to doctors for prescribing tablet: SC told

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New Delhi, Aug 18: The Supreme Court Thursday was told by an NGO that the Central Board of Direct taxes has accused the Pharma company manufacturing popular Dolo tablets, an anti-inflammatory, fever reducer drug, of distributing Rs 1000 crore freebies to doctors for prescribing a dosage of its 650 mg tablets.

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A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna was told by senior advocate Sanjay Parikh and advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for petitioner 'Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Association of India', that the market price of any tablet up to 500mg is regulated under price control mechanism of the government but the price of drug above 500mg can be fixed by manufacturer Pharma Company.

He said that to ensure a higher profit margin, the company distributed freebies to doctors to prescribe the Dolo drug of dosage 650mg capacity.

Parikh added that it is an "irrational dose combination" and said that he would like to bring more such facts to the knowledge of the court after a response is filed by the Centre.

Justice Chandrachud said, "What you are saying is music to my ears. This is exactly the drug that I had when I had COVID recently. This is a serious issue and we will look into it". The bench asked Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj to file his response to the plea in ten days and gave one week time thereafter to Parikh to file his rejoinder.

It listed the matter for further hearing on September 29, 2022.

A counsel sought permission from the court to file an intervention on behalf of the Pharma companies, which the court allowed saying it would like to hear them also on the issue.

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