It is expected that the pharmaceutical market will have to suffer an immediate loss of Rs 800-1,000 crore impacting about 2,500 brands on retail shelves as well as in transit, as more drug makers moved court against the Government’s move on irrational medicines.
Stocks of impacted brands will need to be recalled and destroyed, and companies like Cipla, Emcure, Mankind and Zuventus started informing stockists and retailers about the banned drugs, asking them to stop selling them with immediate effect.
The sudden move has created confusion among stockists, retailers and patients, forcing certain companies like Abbott, Glenmark and Macleods to join Pfizer in challenging the ban in courts, even as the drug industry body, IDMA, said that it is weighing all options. They have been granted interim injunction suspending the implementation of the notification till the next date of hearing on March 21.
Taking the drug industry by surprise, the health ministry, in a notification issued on March 12, prohibited the manufacture, sale and distribution of 344 fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) with immediate effect.
On Tuesday, Procter & Gamble said that it will stop manufacturing and selling its popular combination medicine, Vicks Action 500 (Paracetamol + Phenylephrine + Caffeine) which is part of the notification.
US consumer health group Procter & Gamble’s Indian business plans to challenge a Government ban on its cough-and-cold medicine Vicks Action 500 Extra, citing potential health risks.
Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care said that while it had stopped selling the product, it was evaluating all options to challenge the ban.