KARACHI: A single bench of Sindh High Court (SHC) comprising Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui has rejected plea by Sindh Health Department for partial purchase of costly Hepatitis vaccine from multinationals and summoned petitioners and defendants Thursday (tomorrow).
While hearing the petition filed by various local pharmaceutical firms against rejection of their products used for the treatment of Hepatitis and Hepatitis C, the judge said that court is hearing the case on preferential basis therefore partial purchase cannot be allowed.
He was reacting to the plea by Assistant Advocate General who requested leniency in the stay order granted in favour of petitioners so that 25 percent of medicine costing around Rs 6.2 million can be purchased and given to 33 thousand patients in which 1800 are at terminal stage.
The lawyers of the local pharma companies including Faisal Siddiqui, Shahid Memon, Sattar Pirzada and others said in their arguments that the Sindh Health Department has been playing game with mala fide intentions.
Questioning the stance of Sindh Health Department that the medicines produced locally are harmful to human health, they said that many leading health institutions have been purchasing and using these medicines since decades with no complaints.
Why government has issued licences to the pharmaceutical firms to produce the vaccine, why companies are allowed to sell it in local market and export and why the licences were not cancelled if the medicines in question were substandard, they said.
They furthered that one of the vaccine rejected on quality grounds is the largest selling vaccine in Pakistan produced by a company which is the only one in Pakistan having WHO recognition for its laboratory.
The government officials continue to misguide government, masses and the court for their ulterior motives, they said.
The court has adjourned the hearing keeping stay order against purchase of costly medicine from multinationals. It may be mentioned that there are around 10 million people in Pakistan suffering from Hepatitis.