Delhi High Court seeks Glenmark’s response by May 22

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JanumetThe Delhi High Court has issued a notice to Indian pharmaceutical company Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on an appeal by the US multinational drug company Merck Sharp and Dhome against a single Bench order dismissing the latter’s application seeking a direction to the local company from manufacturing and selling its low-cost anti-diabetes drugs — Zita and Zita-Met.

Issuing the notice, a Division Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice S.K. Misra asked Glenmark to file a reply to the appeal by May 22, the next date of hearing.

The US multinational had sought a permanent injunction on the sale of the two drugs by the Indian company, arguing that the indigenous company was selling the two drugs in violation of its intellectual property rights and patent as it was using the same compound to manufacture its drugs which it used to manufacture its two ‘patented’ drugs Januvia and Janumet.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had dismissed the interim application of the multinational pharmaceutical company.

The plaintiff alleged that the Indian pharmaceutical company had violated its intellectual property right over its anti-diabetes medicines, Januvia and Janumet, by coming in the market with their two drugs containing the same compound.

However, the single Bench has decided to hear the US firm’s suit. It has fixed July 16 as the next date for filing of evidence and other subsequent legal proceedings before a joint registrar. It has also asked Glenmark to file a quarterly report to it about manufacture and sale of its two drugs.

According to a distributor of medicines, a strip of seven tablets of Januvia costs Rs. 299 while the other drug Janumet-50/500/100, which comes in a strip of 14 tablets, costs Rs.308. Interestingly, Januvia comes in 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg but the price of all three weights of the drug has the same price, Rs. 299, the distributor claims.

On the other hand, the Glenmark drugs cost about 30 per cent less than the multinational company’s drugs.

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