KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has sought responses from the central and state governments on a petition filed by celebrated singer Padmabhooshan KJ Yesudas stating that the state government has a constitutional obligation to provide lifesaving medicines and drugs at reduced prices. The court granted four weeks’ time to file the statements.
Yesudas submitted that the governments have a duty to ensure that no person dies because of non-availability of lifesaving and essential drugs which are available in the market. Though the government had formulated several policies, no effective steps have been taken to implement the provisions.
He also submitted that the government is reluctant to address the problems faced by cancer patients in getting lifesaving essential drugs. He sought a directive to exempt anti-cancer medicines and other lifesaving drugs from all types of central taxes, excise duty and import duty.