Delhi High Court has decided to put the government’s ban on over 300 odd drugs on hold till the court’s hearing on March 29.
The court on March 21 decided not to implement the ban on popular drugs like D’Cold, Vicks Action 500 Extra, Corex and Benadryl till a verdict on the case has been given.
Around 6,000-odd companies that manufacture these drugs have been impacted by the government move few weeks back, in which they decided to ban 344 fixed dose combination drugs.
Seeking intervention from High Court, many pharma companies like Glenmark, Pfizer, Abbott India, Macleods, Reckitt Benckiser, Piramal Enterprises, Alembic Pharma and Procter and Gamble (P&G) requested Delhi High court to review the fixed combination drugs report that has got them banned.
On March 10, the Health Ministry had issued a a notification banning these, citing health reasons.
They had asked the manufacturing companies to stop sale and distribution of these fixed drug combinations, stating that they had “no therapeutic justification” and “likely to involve risk to human beings”.
Since then about 50 companies have moved to court and pointed out that the move would impact nearly Rs 3,800 crore sales a year on the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
The ban on these drugs were decided after the government reviewed a report constituted by a panel under Professor Chandrakant Kokate, which was reviewing fixed combination drugs.
The Delhi High Court has now asked the government to present the same committee report in court.
The government has in turn presented an counter argument that there is not much data available on drug-drug interaction and side-effects in fixed dose combination drugs and thus sale of these drugs should be stopped.
They also pointed out that most of these drugs are sold without proper approvals and can thus lead to weakening of one’s immune system.
To make their case stronger they added that most developed countries do not allow these drugs in their market and even the doctors welcomed the ban with open arms.