Bitter pill served to 1,670 drug brands

MedicineThe government has banned as many as 1,670 drug brands, estimated total annual sales of Rs 3,728 crore, an analysis by IMS Health shows. These brands are part of the 344 fixed drug combinations which were banned by the government last week, triggering protests and legal action by pharma industry.

The companies likely to be most affected are Pfizer, Abbott and Macleods Pharma. While only six brands by Pfizer have been banned, their sales were as much as Rs 424 crore between February 2015 and February 2016. Abbott saw 36 of its brands banned which had annual sales of Rs 400 crore in the same period. Similarly, 30 brands by Macleods Pharma, with annual sales of Rs 400 crore, have been banned.

The government banned 344 fixed drug combinations (FDCs) on March 10, after an expert panel had found that these drugs lacked therapeutic justification and posed various health risks. Pfizer is likely to take a massive hit as its popular cough syrups – Corex and Corex-DX – are among the banned brands. These two brands had combined annual sales of Rs 423 crore.

Macleods Pharma’s much sought skin cream Panderm+ has also been banned. This cream itself was bringing Rs 228.2 crore to the company in annual sales.

Abbott’s three major cough syrups – Phensedyl, Tixylix and Tossex – which had annual sales of Rs 290 crore, were banned by the government. The company’s in-demand anti-diabetic drugs Tribet, Semi-Tribet and Triobimet were also banned by the government. These three brands are the same FDC – Glimepiride+, Pioglitazone+ and Metformin – having a total sales of Rs 50 crore annually.

Bitter pill served to 1,670 drug brands

Pfizer, Macleods Pharma and Abbott have got an interim stay on this ban from the Delhi High Court till the next hearing on Monday.

Mankind Pharma’s 32 brands have been banned which had annual sales of Rs 234 crore. The biggest hit may come from the banning of its popular cough syrup Codistar which alone had annual sales of Rs 33 crore.

IMS Health, a global information and technology services company, didn’t analyse 129 molecules – out of total 344 – as it doesn’t track them in the Indian pharmaceutical market. Zydus Cadila’s 49 brands have been banned. The company would not be taking any major hit as sales of these brands are quite small. Sun Pharma – India’s largest pharmaceutical company – has got its 28 brands banned which had a total annual sales of just Rs 95.7 crore.

Lupin’s anti-diabetic drug Gluconorm -PG, which had sales of Rs 46.5 crore, has also been banned. This brand’s FDC name is Glimepiride + Pioglitazone + Metformin. This FDC – which is sold by more than 85 companies under different brand names – had total sales of Rs 525 crore annually.

Chlopheniramine Maleate + Codeine, which had annual sales of Rs 700 crore and is sold by almost 60 companies in the country, has also been banned. Apart from Pfizer and Abott, which are selling this FDC as Corex and Phensedyl, other major companies selling it are Mankind, Franco Indian and Dr Reddy’s Labs.

GlaxoSmithKline’s four brands which have been banned are – Crocin Cold and Flu, Piriton-CS, Dilo-DX and Piriton Expect. These four drugs had annual sales of Rs 58 crore.

[“source-Business-standard”]

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