corex ban stay
We were not pre-informed by the government about the ban on combination drugs : Abbott India The Delhi High Court has stayed ban on Abbott's Phensedyl drug.Reuters

UPDATE: Some of the common household medicines, including Crocin Cold and Flu, D-Cold Total, Nasivion, Sumo, Oflox, Gastrogyl, Chericof, Nimulid, Kofnil, Dolo, Decoff, O2, paediatric syrup T-98 and TedyKoff, have been banned by the Indian government as part of its decision to halt the manufacture and sale of fixed dose combinations (FDCs), the Hindustan Times reported.

Cough syrups Corex, Phensedyl and cold medicine Vicks Action 500 Extra have also been banned, prompting the drug makers to move court against the government order.

The government had issued a notification March 10, banning over 300 combination drugs after a review by a screening committee revealed that combination drugs risk lives. The government later prohibited the manufacture, sale and distribution of combination drugs under the Section 26(A) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act (1940). 

Drug company Abbott India, whose popular cough syrup Phensedyl was banned by the government under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Tuesday said it was not pre-informed by the government body about the ban. 

Abbott India, along with another pharma company Macleods Pharma, moved the Delhi High Court Tuesday, against the government ban on combination drugs. The court meanwhile granted a stay on the ban on the drugs of the two companies.

"Abbott reviewed the DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) notification regarding Fixed Dose combinations ( FDCs) and approached the Delhi high court for relief as we were not informed, consulted or allowed a representation by the authority for some important products," the Mint quoted Abbott spokesperson as saying.

"Abbott has received an interim injunction suspending the operation of the said notification which prohibits the manufacture, sale and distribution of several FDCs that have already been approved for use, till the next date of hearing," the spokesperson added. 

The court, while granting a temporary stay on the ban, observed the interim relief to the pharma companies is justified. It also questioned the government on the sudden imposition of ban on combination drugs that have been in the market for the last 20 years, according to the daily.

U.S- based consumer healthcare company Procter & Gamble, whose product Vicks Action 500 Extra was banned, also approached the Delhi High Court Tuesday for a stay on the ban.

Pfizer Limited, whose popular cough syrup Corex was banned by the government, also managed to get a stay on the ban. The court hearing on the ban has been scheduled for March 21.

The government had issued a notification March 10, banning over 300 combination drugs after a review by a screening committee revealed that combination drugs risk lives. The government later prohibited the manufacture, sale and distribution of combination drugs under the Section 26(A) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act (1940).

Market agency Pharma Trac said that Abbott and Pfizer may be the worst hit pharma companies due to the ban. Abbott may take a hit of Rs 485 crore and Pfizer Limited of Rs 368 crore as a result of the government move, the Economic Times reported.