Ready to reimburse cost on importing cancer drug: SBI to HC

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Ready to reimburse cost on importing cancer drug: SBI to HC

Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) The State Bank of India today told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to reimburse the cost of Rs six lakh incurred by a senior citizen for importing a cancer medicine for his wife, who was the bank’s employee.

The SBI counsel made the submission to a division bench of Justice Anoop Mohta, during the hearing of Pune-resident Nagesh Marathe’s plea seeking direction to the bank to reimburse the cost of the medicine imported from Belgium for his wife Ranjana.

Marathe’s late wife Ranjana had been working for the bank’s Pune branch since 1983. She was still working for it when she died in June 2015.

On Marathe’s plea, the bench had issued notice to the bank last week.

The bench was today informed by the bank that it has decided to reimburse the amount with interest to the petitioner.

The court accepted the statement and disposed of the petition.

According to the petition, though the medicine was procured from Belgium at Rs 6.10 lakh, it was never administered to the patient as her health deteriorated and she died.

Marathe had submitted to the court in his petition that he had applied to the SBI for reimbursement of the consultation fees and the costs of medicines and specialised investigation totalling Rs 6.33 lakh.

The bank, however, had conceded to reimburse only Rs two lakh of the entire bill, while denying reimbursement of the remaining amount stating that importing medicine was not allowed and not required as the same treatment was available even in India, the petition had said.

The petitioner said since 2013 when Ranjana was diagnosed with the cancer and the treatment was initiated, the bank paid all her bills on a regular basis.

“In May 2015, however, Ranjana’s health deteriorated and her doctor explained the need to administer a life-saving drug Kadcyla TMD-I, which was not available in India then. The treating oncologist instructed the petitioners to import the said medicine as the last resort to save Ranjana’s life,” the petition said.

“The petitioners inquired and found a company, which helped him procure 18 vials of the medicine from a supplier in Belgium. The petitioners paid a sum of Rs 6.10 lakh for the medicine,” it claimed.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.