Abbott Healthcare and Macleods Pharmaceuticals got a stay by the Delhi High Court (HC) on Tuesday on the ban on sale of certain combination medicines till March 21.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said that similar relief as granted to pharma major Pfizer's cough syrup Corex on Monday be extended to these two companies. Abbott's sells the same combination under the brand Phensedyl. The Judge observed that the drugs have been in the market for more than 20 years. "I am of the view that a counter affidavit is required in these petitions," he added.
"The matter has been listed for Monday (March 21). Till then, the effect of notification shall remain stayed and no coercive steps shall be taken against the stockist, retailer and the sellers, qua the petitioners here," the court said.
The HC also directed the health ministry to file a status report regarding the findings of the expert committee set up by it following which the sale of more than 300 drug combinations have been banned with effect from March 10.
Additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the action taken was not against a company or brand centric.
The decision was taken by the expert committee, he said adding that this was done in public interest. The court's order came on pleas moved by Abbott and Macleods contending that no show-cause notice or hearing was granted prior to the notification.
Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble India said on Tuesday it had stopped manufacture and sale of its cough-andcold medicine Vicks Action 500 Extra with immediate effect after regulators banned it citing potential health risk.