HC notice to govt. on plea to restore free supply of medicine for thalassemia patients

The High Court of Karnataka, on Tuesday, ordered issue of notice to the State government on a PIL petition seeking direction to the government to restore regular and free supply of iron chelation drugs in government hospitals immediately for thalassemia patients.

A Division Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, passed the order while hearing the petition by the Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Society of Bangalore.

Pointing out that thalaseemia patients are facing severe hardship in the State due to non-availibility of iron chelation drugs, the petitioner sought a direction to the government to organise camps for distribution in all district hospitals.

The petitioner has stated that chelation drugs was available for free sometimes in government hospitals but of late the supply has been stopped and the authorities have not taken any action to restore the supply in spite of repeated representations, even up to the level of the Chief Minister back in March this year.

Stating that there about 17,000 thalassemia patients in Karnataka whose lives are in danger due to non availability of chelation, the petitioner has claimed that most patients cannot afford to buy this medicine in the open market as it costs on an average ₹1,000 to ₹1,500 per day.

Thalassemia is a disability due to blood disorder and is covered under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and the chelation therapy removes excess iron from the body that accumulates due to frequent blood transfusion in thalassemia patients. If it is not taken regularly, excess iron will damage vital organs, some times causing death, the petitioner pointed out.

The society has also sought directions to the government to ensure that thalaseemia patients are given adequate, safe, free, and timely transfusions, and to organise special camps at districts.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:18:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hc-notice-to-govt-on-plea-to-restore-free-supply-of-medicine-for-thalassemia-patients/article36593215.ece

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