Ranbaxy labs fined Rs.50,000 for delaying medical report

June 13th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Ranbaxy laboratories was Friday asked to pay a fine of Rs.50,000 to a family for delaying a crucial medical test report of a patient needed to begin a surgery. It gave the report after the patient had died. The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission asked Specialty Ranbaxy Limited to pay the money to the family of V.K. Garg.

Justice J.D.Kapoor, while slapping the fine, said: “In view of the importance of the test report, the laboratory should have given the report as early as possible, but it was delivered after about 25 days - that too after the death of the patient, and this lapse amounts to deficiency in service.”

Garg was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for renal transplantation. Two pathological labs gave varying reports of a medical test on Garg. Doctors, before starting medication, advised a repeat test from the Specialty Ranbaxy Limited lab.

The lab promised to give the report on or before July 3, 1999. However, it gave the report only on July 13. Garg’s blood sample was sent to the laboratory on June 17.

Since the medication could not start without the medical test report and in view of the seriousness of the disease, the laboratory was requested time and again to hasten the test analysis, but it failed to do so despite written reminders.

In its defence, the laboratory took the plea that the medical test was known to give differing results and the surgeons were aware of it.

However, Ranbaxy’s plea did not find favour with Justice Kapoor. He said the laboratory was aware of the nature of the disease and had promised to give the report within 15 days, but delayed it by almost a month, despite written reminders. This, the judge said, was the grossest kind of deficiency in service for any reason whatsoever.

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