The Competition Commission of India has disposed of complaints of unfair business practices against Central Medical Service Society, Anti TB Department and RITES India, noting that asking drug suppliers to have a WHO certification for supply of drugs treating critical diseases cannot be termed as arbitrary.
The order came after it was alleged that the Central Medical Service Society and RITES India had published tenders for procurement of anti-TB and anti-HIV drugs from suppliers having Geneva WHO-Prequalified certificate.
According to the complainant, the condition of certification was incorporated in order to create monopoly of few companies and thus allegedly abused their dominant market position.
CCI said, "Such certification is a globally accepted standard of quality, safety and efficacy and the same would have been incorporated in the tender to improve the quality standards of the drug and public safety."
It also said "such a condition for supplying drugs for treating the critical diseases, on the face of it, cannot be termed as arbitrary or favouring the particular companies unless the same is wholly irrelevant or illusory".
On allegations of abuse of dominant position, CCI said there is no information to show that the entities are dominant procurers in the market for procurement of anti-TB/HIV drugs.
"The dominance of an enterprise in the relevant market has to be prima facie established before pressing into service the provisions of the Act relating to abuse of dominant position," it added.
The entities are also alleged to have violated provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. However, CCI said the remedy for such alleged violations does not lie under the Competition Act and the complainant may approach the relevant authorities for redressal of its grievances.
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