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Delhi HC stays ban on 344 drugs; interim relief for pharma cos

The Delhi High Court which is hearing a plea filed by various drug makers challenging the ban imposed on 344 drugs in India, has stayed the order till its next hearing on March 21, reports CNBC-TV18’s Ashmit Kumar. The government on March 10 had banned fixed dose combination drugs.

The pharma companies have won at least the first round their battle against the government. The court has ruled that no coercive action can be taken against the companies.  

The interim relief that was extended to Pfizer has been now extended to two more companies – Macleod Pharma and Abbott . The companies argued that despite the products being in the market for number of years, the government had not granted a show cause notice to seek explanation. The companies wanted a chance to explain the products in question and explain the compliance with respect to safety standards.

However, the government clarified that since this is a matter of public interest, it was not obliged to serve a show cause notice or seek explanation from pharma companies.

However, the Delhi HC has asked the government to explain its position and actions of issuing the March 10 notification. It has also stayed the notification with respect to Abbott and MacLeod and the stay will be in operation until next hearing on March 21.

The stay on notification is restricted to only the above three pharma companies and not across the board.