The Supreme court on Monday lifted a ban on the manufacture and sale of Piramal's painkiller Saridon and two other drugs - Piriton and Dart - for now.
These drugs were part of the 328 Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) drugs whose manufacture, distribution and sale was banned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on September 12.
Lifting the ban till the case was disposed, a bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra sought the Centre's response to the pleas by affected pharmaceutical companies against the order to ban FDCs manufactured before 1988.
The bench is hearing cases on the validity of fixed-dose drug licences.
Questioning the ban, the companies had earlier said that the only reason given in the government's notification was that the combinations had "no therapeutic value".
The Centre's decision to ban 328 FDC drugs had brought around 6,000 medicines on the radar, including very commonly used ones.
The list of such drugs includes Piramal's painkiller Saridon, Macleods Pharma's Panderm Plus skin cream, Alkem Laboratories' antibacterial Taxim AZ and combination diabetes drug Gluconorm PG.
The ban order was, however, hailed by the All India Drug Action Network, which said that the government had taken the right decision as "banned drugs were indeed harmful and not prescribed in medicine textbooks".
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