Delhi HC lifts ban on Corex, Sari­don, 342 other drugs

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Soibam Rocky Singh rocky.singh@hin­dus­tan­times.com Puja Ped­nekar puja.ped­nekar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Delhi high court on Thurs­day scrapped a gov­ern­ment ban on pop­u­lar drugs such as Corex, Sari­don and Vicks Ac­tion 500 and called it a hap­haz­ard de­ci­sion, un­der­lin­ing the un­cer­tain­ties that dog In­dia’s large but un­der-reg­u­lated med­i­cal sec­tor.

Many of th­ese drugs went off the mar­ket after the health min­istry banned 344 fixed-dose com­bi­na­tion drugs in March but were back on shop shelves after pharma firms ob­tained a stay on the or­der.

The ban had hit more than 6,000odd drugs and their vari­ants.

“… the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment, though act­ing in pub­lic in­ter­est, seems to have gone about it in a hap­haz­ard man­ner,” jus­tice RS End­law said, adding the March 10 no­ti­fi­ca­tions were is­sued “with­out fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dure”.

With this ver­dict, th­ese drugs — in­clud­ing D’Cold, Be­nadryl and Phensedyl that are widely used to treat headaches and colds — will con­tinue be avail­able freely.

Fixed-dose com­bi­na­tion drugs com­bine two or more drugs in a single pill and are used to im­prove pa­tient com­pli­ance as it is eas­ier to get some­one to take one drug than sev­eral.

In­dia is one of the world’s largest mar­kets for FDCs that make up almost half the mar­ket share but med­i­cal ex­perts say they haven’t been ap­proved by the na­tional reg­u­la­tor.

Many of them slip through In­dia’s labyrinthine reg­u­la­tion process with agen­cies at the cen­tral and state level, which of­ten don’t co­or­di­nate.

In­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (IT) gi­ant Mi­crosoft and fi­nan­cial ser­vices firms, Black­stone and Gold­man Sachs, of­fered some of the high­est salary pack­ages dur­ing the first slot on the first day of place­ments at the In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Bom­bay (IIT-B).

The day-time slot, which stretched till 6pm in­stead of the sched­uled 4pm, saw sev­en­teen com­pa­nies mak­ing around 60 job of­fers, at the time of go­ing to press.

Mi­crosoft se­lected five can­di­dates and of­fered jobs based in the US as well as within the coun­try. Sources con­firmed that the pay pack­ages of­fered for the US-based job pro­files ranged be­tween Rs70 lakh and Rs80 lakh a year but it’s not clear if the amount was only the base salary.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, pay pack­ages of­fered by com­pa­nies like Gold­man Sachs ranged from Rs25 to Rs30 lakh, while Black­stone of­fered around Rs35 lakh. While the for­mer re­port­edly se­lected seven stu­dents, the lat­ter made two of­fers.

The first day was dom­i­nated by com­pa­nies from the en­gi­neer­ing and fi­nan­cial sec­tor. Most of the com­pa­nies of­fered base salaries to the tune of Rs 14-15 lakh, in ad­di­tion to join­ing bonuses and other ben­e­fits.

The ITC group, which is said to have se­lected three stu­dents, of­fered a pack­age of Rs 17 lakh and Rs 2 lakh as join­ing bonus.

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