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Delhi High Court reserves verdict in challenge to FDC drug ban

Smrithi Suresh

Justice RS Endlaw of the Delhi High Court has reserved judgment on the petitions filed by pharma companies challenging the Health Ministry’s ban on 344 FDC (Fixed Dose Combination) drugs.

Justice Endlaw who has been hearing final arguments in the case for two months now, reserved his orders today on a batch of nearly 300-odd petitions filed by different pharma companies. 

The stay order on the Government’s notification that was initially granted to Pfizer Ltd, prompted a slew of pharmaceutical companies to knock the doors of the High Court and demand similar relief.

Due to the large number of petitions (that only increased gradually), Justice Endlaw had also passed certain administrative directions in order to contain the crowd in the courtroom.

Previously, the Government had defended its action and said that the ban was put to place because the drugs that were off market shelves were ‘unsafe’ andnot efficacious.

ASG Sanjay Jain had appeared for the Govt and submitted that most licenses given to the companies for manufacturing the drugs were given by State Governments and when these Governments did not take any action against the said ‘harmful’ drugs, the Parliamentary Committee had to intervene and conduct a proper drug trial.

Jain had also told the Court on one hearing that the decision to ban the drugs was a ‘legislative action’ and therefore, it was not incumbent upon the Government to seek advice from any Committee in this regard.

The case has also witnessed intervener applications in the matter filed by  an NGO, All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), and activist Bijon Kumar Mishra. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves had appeared for AIDAN.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news