Painkiller Saridon will be back on chemists’ shelves with the Supreme Court on Monday lifting the ban on its sale for now.
A Bench of Justices R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra was hearing a plea challenging the ban on the drug following a notification by the Health Ministry earlier this month. The court also made way for sale of two more drugs Piriton and Dart. The court also issued notice to the Centre on the plea filed by Piramal Healthcare, which makes Saridon, GalxoSmithkline and Juggat Pharma. The petitioners contended that the medicines were manufactured before 1988 and thus exempted from last week’s government notification issued to stop the sale of 328 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand opposed the order, arguing it would set a bad precedent. The Union Ministry of Health had on September 13 issued a notification banning FDC drugs, effective from September 7. FDCs are two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio into a single dosage format.
The drug companies contended that the report of the Drug Technical Advisory Board on the basis of which the ban was brought about was not given to them. ASG Anand disputed the claim that the drugs in question were made pre-1998.