Delhi High court on Thursday sets aside a government ban on 344 fixed dose combination drugs after over six months. More than 300 petitions filed against it by drugmakers.
The ban was issued on 10th March and affected almost 6000 medicine brands including some popular brands like Saridon, Vicks Action 500 Extra, Corex cough syrup, D’Cold Total and etc.
Companies like Glenmark, Cipla, Pfizer, Procter and Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and other filed petition against the decision.
The HC said that the power under section 26A (power to prohibit the manufacture of drugs and cosmetics in public interest) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act cannot be exercised in public interest except when a drug poses risk to the consumers. During the hearing, the companies had contended that the government has not properly implemented the powers under section 26A, under which the ban was ordered.
Justice RS Endlaw, who heard the cases from March to June allowed their petitions.
A fixed dose combination (FDC) is a cocktail drug that contains two or more therapeutic ingredients packed in a single dose. According to government sources, over 2000 FDCs exist in India. FDCs are necessary because of their effectiveness in treating many symptoms of illness at a lower cost than two or more separate medicines.
The government claimed that it banned these FDC drugs for public health safety reasons after Vice-Chancellor, National Advisor of Society of Pharmacognosy, Chandrakant Kokate led an expert committee found them to be “irrational”.
The local and multinational drugmakers who operating India’s $15 billion business felt a relief after hearing the decision. The decision means companies can continue to sell those drugs.