The forum held that they sold different brand than prescribed by the doctor which is indulging in the deficiency in services.
Nagpur: Not understanding the seriousness of specific drugs dispensed by professionals, the pharmacists sometimes wrongly substitute them, assuming that the substitute has similar contents. In the case of a similar nature, the consumer court recently ordered a Mouda-based Saurabh Medical Stores to pay Rs 1.15 lakh as compensation to a woman for giving a wrong substitute of the prescribed drug, with which she had a severe medical reaction.
The case was filed by a patient who was prescribed ‘Aloederm’ by her family doctor for acne treatment. On November 26, 2015, she went to the chemist shop to get the same. However, she was handed over ‘Derobin ointment’ by the Saurabh Medical Stores’ proprietor, Chandrashekhar Devchand Dangre. He stated that it had similar content with a different brand name.
After its usage, the patient suffered a reaction as dark spots appeared all over her face and she suffered lifetime scars. She then approached the consumer forum against the chemist and submitted all her documents, including doctor’s prescription and bills of medicine supplied by the store. She also attached skin specialist’s certificate, which mentioned that she was taking treatment for ‘contact dermatitis due to Derobin’, which was constituted in the ointment given by the shopkeeper.
According to a report by TOI, it is learnt that she even lodged a complaint with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) department after which the medicine store’s license was cancelled on January 29, 2016. The store owner then challenged this before the concerned minister of state, who stayed the FDA order.
Acting on the woman’s complaint, the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has recently slapped a compensation of Rs1.15 lakh on Saurabh Medical and General Stores, Mouda, Ramtek. The forum agreed the store caused mental and physical harassment and needs to pay treatment cost incurred to the woman, who is still undergoing treatment over more than three years after she bought the ointment.
The bench consisting of president Shekhar Muley and members Avinash Prabhune and Dipti Bobde ruled that the proprietor Chandrashekhar Devchand Dangre acted irresponsibly and adopted unethical practices by selling a medicine not prescribed by the doctor.
“The shop owner is a registered pharmacist and he should take precaution while selling medicines. He carries a big responsibility on his shoulders as consumers believe him. Due to his wrong prescription, the woman suffered harassment, as her face was damaged for a lifetime. Thus, he indulged in the deficiency in service as per the Consumer Protection Act, 1986,”
The forum held that they sold different brand than prescribed by the doctor which is indulging in the deficiency in services. The forum further added that the registered pharmacist should take precaution while selling medicines. He shoulders big responsibility as consumers believe him and due to his wrong prescription, the woman suffered harassment. Moreover, her face was damaged & needs to carry scars for a lifetime.
However, before partly allowing the woman’s complaint, the bench also held the complainant for not intervening a doctor’s opinion when the shopkeeper gave her alternate medicine against the prescription. “She is also responsible for contributory negligence. Hence, her demand for Rs10 lakh compensation can’t be accepted,” the judges said.
On the other hand, Dangre in his argument opposed the woman’s charges, stating that she incurred an expenditure of only Rs 3772 for her treatment.
The judges held the shopkeeper guilty of providing incorrect drugs that led to lifetime damage to the customer. Considering her treatment cost in the future, they imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh towards harassment, Rs 5000 for the cost of treatment, and Rs 10000 for the cost of litigation, on the shopkeeper.