New Delhi: In a move that would bring great relief to pharmaceutical companies across the country, the Delhi High Court has set aside the government notification that called for a ban on 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines.
The move, which would result in many popular medicines like Corex, Phensedyl, Saridon and Vicks Action 500 Extra hitting back the market shelves, came after the Delhi High court was found stating that the step of the government was taken in a “haphazard manner”.
It is reported that on March 10th, government came out with an order banning said 344 FDC drugs, which included many popular brands of major pharmaceutical giants. The companies immediately knocked on the doors of the high court, challenging the government order
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw allowed 454 petitions moved by various pharma and healthcare majors, like Pfizer, Glenmark, Procter and Gamble and Cipla, challenging the government’s March 10 notification banning the FDCs, saying the decision was taken by the Centre without following procedure prescribed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
The court had from March 14 onwards stayed the operation of the Centre’s decision with regard to medicines of several pharma majors.
The court today said that proceedings till issuance of the notification of March 10, 2016, “do not suggest there was any grave urgency”.
It also said that the power under section 26A (power to prohibit manufacture of drugs and cosmetics in public interest) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act cannot be exercised in public interest except when a drug poses a risk to consumers.
During the hearing in the case, the drug companies had contended that the government has not properly implemented the powers under section 26A, under which the ban was ordered.
They had also argued that the ban order was passed without considering clinical data and had termed as “absurd” the government’s claim that it took the decision to ban FDCs on the ground that safer alternatives were available.
The government had banned over 300 FDC drugs on the ground that they involve “risk” to humans and safer alternatives were available.
As per the March 10 notification, “On the basis of recommendations of an expert committee, the central government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient in public interest to regulate by way of prohibition of manufacture for sale, sale and distribution for human use of said drugs in the country.
Here are the list of medicines that were banned by the government