Supreme Court order gets Saridon, Piritron Expectorant and Dart relief from "irrational" and risky drugs list

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 17, 2018 15:39 hrs
A man, who supports a drug-buying network and takes generic drugs himself to prevent HIV infection, shows off some of his generic drugs at his home in central London

India's apex court on Monday allowed the sale of three drugs from the government's list of 328 banned combinations.

The news was reported by Reuters, citing TV news channels beaming news reports.

Saridon is manufactured by Piramal Healthcare while Piritron Expectorant is from Glaxo SmithKline Pharmceuticals.

In the last week, Ministry of Health, Family and Welfare restricted 328 Fixed Dose Combination drugs (FDCs) from being manufactured, sold, and distributed.

The ministry said many of these combination drugs were yet to be clinically tried and tested. The list included popular household names such as Skin cream Panderm, Saridon etc.

Health authorities warned that increasing use of antibiotic combinations may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, with India of particular concern because of the large volume of combination drugs being taken.

Drugmaker Wockhardt had earlier moved High Court as its anti-inflammatory drug-Ace Proxyvon-is one of the FDC medicines affected by the centre's notification banning 328 such combinations.

In a news report, Deepnath Roychowdhury, the president of the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association, said the ban on 328 combination drugs would have an impact on a market worth an estimated Rs 1,600 crore a year.

Combination drugs are used to improve patients' compliance, as it is easier to get patients to take one drug rather than several, he said.

The top court's order on Monday came on the background of a petition filed by drug makers.

Major pharma companies while challenging the centre's decision claimed that the only reason given in the government's notification was that the combination had "no therapeutic value"

The court sought the centre's reply on petitions against the order to ban fixed-dose combination or FDCs manufactured before 1988.

But inconsistent enforcement of drug laws has led to a proliferation of such medicines based on state approvals, rather than from the central government.