This Article is From Mar 14, 2016

Corex, Popular Cough Syrup, Not Banned For Now, Says Court

Corex, Popular Cough Syrup, Not Banned For Now, Says Court

Pfizer's stock closed 9 per cent lower on the National Stock Exchange today

Highlights

  • Corex among 344 drugs banned by experts as unsafe for humans
  • Corex says it has been selling in India for over 20 years
  • Corex says no inquiry conducted; next hearing on March 21

Corex, a popular cough syrup, is not banned for now, the Delhi High Court said, after regulators ordered for it to be removed from shops alleging it poses a "risk for humans".

Pfizer stock opened lower and declined steadily to close 9% down on the National Stock Exchange. 

The High Court will hear the case in a week. The ban on Pfizer's cough syrup was part of a wider notice issued by the government over the weekend prohibiting the sale and manufacture of 344 combination drugs blacklisted by a panel of experts.

But Pfizer's lawyer, Kapil Sibal, argued in court that Corex is a prescription drug, that it is sold in other countries, and that the government's expert committee banned it without an inquiry.

"How can the company, which is in the market for 25 years, be banned without opportunity? Did the expert committee give any reason?" responded the judge.

Corex is a combination of chlorpheniramine maleate and codeine syrup. Sources in the government say that like the nearly 300 other drugs that were banned, approvals were granted by regulators of individual states, rather the central government, as legally required.

The Corex brand brought in sales of about Rs 176 crore to Pfizer in the nine months ended December 2015, the company said in a statement.