Company can make, sell its brands of MSD’s diabetes products till April 28
The Supreme Court stayed till April 28 the order of Delhi High Court barring Glenmark from making, marketing or selling its anti-diabetes medicines in which US drug major Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has claimed a patent right.
“Upto April 28, there will be an interim stay on the order of the High Court,” said a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and NV Ramana.
According to a PTI report, senior advocates Abhishekh Singhvi and Pratibha M Singh appeared for Glenmark which is defending its medicines – Zita and Zita-Met – meant for treatment of diabetes.
The Indian company’s plea was opposed by advocates TR Andhyrujina and Praveen Anand, who contended that there was blatant violation of worldwide patent on MSD’s Januvia and Janumet.
However, the bench said “heavens would not fall if we grant injunction” and issued notice to MSD, saying the matter would be heard after four weeks.
While holding that MSD has established a prima facie case of infringement, a division Bench of the High Court had on March 20 granted interim injunction in its favour and said the price difference between the drugs of the two companies “is not so startling as to compel the court to infer that allowing Glenmark to sell the drug at depressed prices would result in increased access.”
Zita and Zita-Met cost 30 per cent less than MSD’s Januvia and Janumet, which is due to the customs duty paid by the US firm, the High Court had said, adding, “No allegation has been made that MSD today sells its drugs at a relatively high price that hinders access to the drug.”
However, the high court had allowed Glenmark to sell the products in question which are already in the market.
MSD had challenged the April 5, 2013 order of a single judge of the High Court who had refused to restrain Glenmark from manufacturing and selling its medicines meant for treatment of Type-II diabetes.