Pfizer stops sale of cough syrup Corex after govt ban, stock falls

03/15/2016 04:00 | 63549

Pfizer stops sale of cough syrup Corex after govt ban, stock falls

Pfizer said it believed Corex had a "well-established efficacy and safety profile in India for more than 30 years", without elaborating.

Phensedyl sales, which contribute significantly, are not accounted for in the listed entity Abbott India. Following the announcement, the company shares ended 9% down to Rs1,760 on the BSE.

According to the ministry's notification, "On the basis of recommendations of an expert committee, the Central government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient in public interest to regulate by way of prohibition of manufacture for sale, sale and distribution for human use of the said drugs in the country".

Further, in its plea, Pfizer said due to the notification sales of the cough syrup have come to a grinding halt, it has caused vast duress to the company as well as consumers and patients.

Pharmaceutical major Pfizer has stopped manufacture and sale of popular cough syrup Corex with immediate effect after a ban by the Government.

Pfizer and Abbott both initially said they would comply with the ban, but Pfizer quickly followed that up with court action, getting a stay, Reuters said, citing Indian television.

He did not name the medicines, but said an official notice announcing the ban would be issued "in a few days".

Pfizer opened Monday at Rs1,890, its high for the day.

The medicines, which are a combination of chlopheniramine maleate and codeine, were among 344 drug combinations India banned over the weekend after a government panel of experts found they had "no therapeutic justification".

AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS said other brands that will bear the brunt of the ban include Phensedyl of Abbott India and Panderm Plus of Macleods Pharma. Abbott India Ltd's shares fell almost 3% while that of Pfizer Ltd declined by 5.2% in early Indian trade on Monday.

The Health Ministry has banned the combination of chlorpheniramine maleate and codeine syrup, which Pfizer sells as the cough syrup Corex. But several drug combinations have entered the market over the years based on approval exclusively from states.

In a gazette notification on March 10, the government had banned 344 FDCs. Abbott told the Economic Times that it had reviewed the order and was concerned by the "unilateral approach" taken by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

Also, in some cases, there were concerns about misuse of such medicines considered unsafe for mass consumption.

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