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PBT’s PIL in SC Against Reckless Use of Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19: Apex Court Asks Solicitor General to Bring It to ICMR

PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha appeared “in person” through “live” videoconferencing from USA to argue before a 3-judge Supreme Court bench of Justices R.V. Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B.R. Gavai in the PIL filed by PBT seeking changes to the widespread recommended “treatment guidelines” for use of unapproved anti-malarial drug, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and broad-spectrum antibiotic, Azithromycin (AZM) in COVID-19 patients. American Heart Association (AMA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) as well as Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) have recently issued warnings that use of these drugs may cause serious adverse effects leading to heart failure and death, especially in patients with other cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure or ischemia. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a drug “safety” warning last week about the “off-label” use of HCQ and AZM in COVID-19 patients. In this PIL, PBT has also sought that even if COVID-19 patients are given the experimental HCQ/AZM, they must be informed about the potential “adverse effects” of these drugs and doctors must obtain “informed consent” before using HCQ/AZM on COVID-19 patients.

After hearing Dr. Saha and the Solicitor General (SG) of India, Mr. Tushar Mehta, Apex Court based an order directing that PBT can email all necessary materials to the SG within 2 days and then SG will bring it to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for investigation and necessary action in regard to the concerns raised by PBT. PBT has already filed all the relevant documents to the SG via email and hope that the ICMR will take appropriate precautionary measures, as advised by the international medical organizations, in regard to the use of HCQ/AZM to prevent injuries or death of the COVID-19 patients (see news below).

LiveLaw (Apr. 30, 2020)

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  • venkat rao May 3, 2020, 10:44 am

    New Delhi: In a significant decision, the Supreme Court on Friday, dismissed the petition filed by Dr Kunal Saha that sought the cancellation of the licences of three doctors, who were involved in the medical negligence case that lead to the death of Saha’s wife Anuradha in the year 1998. The court was seen touching the topic of mistakes made by professionals, stating that err is human. The Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud observed, “As judges we are humans. We also can commit mistakes. If we are to order what you are demanding, what signal are we sending… for we do not know whether they were actually negligent or not? Only God knows whether they were negligent.”
    Dismissing the petition the bench told the doctor that while the was conscious of the anguish caused to him, it was time for him to stop pursuing the case. “Don’t be agitated. They (hospital and doctors) have been punished already. The incident is 19 years old. Why do you want to agitate the issue further? You are not allowing your wife to rest in peace. Can anybody return your loss? You are not at peace. We want you to be in peace,” Chief Justice Khehar said, reports the


  • Parag May 8, 2020, 11:30 pm

    As usual, great work Dr Saha and team!!

    My family is also a victim of medical negligence. I’ve started the petition “Medical Council of India, Lilavati Hospital: Cancel License, expel Corrupt Nephrologist Hemant Mehta, Prashant Rajput who killed my Mom”.

    Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now. Here’s the link:



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