The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict in over 450 petitions filed by drug and healthcare majors challenging the Centre’s decision to ban 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines, including well known brands like Corex cough syrup, Vicks Action 500 extra and D’Cold.
After hearing arguments of the companies like Pfizer, Glenmark, Procter and Gamble and Cipla, the central government and some NGOs like All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) over a span of over two months starting from March 14, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw reserved judgement on the pleas questioning the Centre’s decision.
The court had on March 14 stayed the Centre’s March 10 ban on 344 FDC drugs and this interim order was passed in each and every case filed before it thereafter.
During arguments, the drug companies had contended that government has not properly implemented the powers under section 26A (power to prohibit manufacture of drugs and cosmetics in public interest) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act under which the ban was ordered.
They had also argued that the ban order was passed without considering clinical data and termed as “absurd” 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.