Diabetes patients will continue to get cheap medicines manufactured in India thanks to Delhi high court which for the time being ruled in favour of an Indian company caught in a row over patent rights with a US pharmaceutical major.
The development comes four days after the Supreme Court rejected the plea of Swiss multinational Novartis AG for patent protection of its anti-cancer drug Glivec.
The court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by US pharmaceutical major Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) to stop Indian firm Glenmark from producing its low-cost anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met till the court took a final stand on the issue.
According to market sources, a strip of seven tablets of Januvia and Janumet (50 mg and 100 mg) produced by MSD is priced at Rs. 300 while Glenmark’s version costs around 30% less.
“The plaintiff (MSD) has not made out a case for grant of interim relief”, justice RS Endlaw said.
Seeking temporary injunction, MSD alleged Glenmark violated its intellectual property right by coming in the market with their own drugs containing the same salts.
Reacting to the order, a MSD spokesperson said: “The company is extremely disappointed with the decision of denial of injunction by the Delhi high court against Glenmark for patent violation of our drugs. MSD is considering all options, including an appeal of the decision.”
The court however asked Glenmark to maintain accounts of production and sale of the anti-diabetic drugs and file a report in the court every three months.