Pfizer gets temporary relief on cough syrup ban


Court granted U.S. drugmaker Pfizer an interim injunction on a ban on its popular cough syrup Corex, days after the government ordered it to be prohibited citing a potential risk to humans.

Health ministry banned the combination of chlorpheniramine maleate and codeine syrup, which Pfizer sells as the cough syrup Corex, in a notice over the weekend.corex

Pfizer’s Indian subsidiary appealed the ban through a writ petition in the New Delhi High Court, which granted the company a stay on Monday, pending the next court hearing, Pfizer said in a statement.

Pfizer’s Indian business said earlier on Monday it had stopped selling Corex, and expected its profit to be hit, as the brand generated sales of about $26 million in the nine months through December. Pfizer shares closed down 9 percent in Mumbai, before the stay order was issued.

The court said the government had not issued Pfizer a “show cause notice” before banning the medicine, two lawyers for the drugmaker told Reuters, declining to be named.

The next hearing by on Pfizer’s plea is slated for March 21.

The ban also applied to Abbott Laboratories’ (ABT.N) Phensedyl cough syrup and Abbott’s Indian subsidiary also filed a writ petition at the same court, which will come up for hearing on Tuesday.

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