Facing tough time since the health ministry's ban on its largest selling product, Proxyvon, multinational pharmaceutical company Wockhardt, has run into more trouble, as a week ago, police sealed its carry and forwarding (C and F) agency warehouse here that stocked the banned drug.
The warehouse stocks the banned drug's 9-crore casules worth `100 crore, senior superintendent of police Hardial Singh Mann has confirmed. As Punjab is the company's main market, police suspect the drug was pumped into it through illegal route. If the charged is proved, there will be a case lodged against the company's owners.
As the matter involves drug-trade legalities, police have consulted the health department and two drug inspectors are verifying the records under police monitoring. Seven first-information reports (FIRs) have been filed already against Wockhardt in Pune, Kolhapur and Mumbai for selling illegal Spasmo-Proxyvon, a popular brand of the antispasmodic (medicine that suppresses muscle spasms), post ban.
The FIRs were lodged under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Indian Penal Code. The Wockhardt drug contains dextropropoxyphene, substance which the Indian government banned on May 23 to stop its misuse by drug addicts. However, in its version to the police, the company has claimed that since the ban, the company is recalling Proxyvon from Punjab and other markets, and it is the recalled drug that is being stored here.
Police have their doubts, as some consignments are from other states.
Proxyvon is the most used intoxicant in Punjab and is popular as SP Sahib (for its brand name Spasmo-Proxyvon) among addicts.