Micro Labs gets clean chit from pharma body over DOLO-650 freebie case | The Financial Express

Micro Labs gets clean chit from pharma body over DOLO-650 freebie case

In July this year, the Income Tax Department conducted searches at the office and residences of top company officials for alleged tax evasion.

Micro Labs gets clean chit from pharma body over DOLO-650 freebie case
IPA also investigated whether DOLO-650 is the correct dosage to be administered to patients. (File)

Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) has cleared Micro Labs, maker of DOLO-650, of the charge that it bribed medical doctors with freebies worth Rs 1000 crores in one year to promote its popular antipyretic.

“In view of interaction with the management of the company and the detailed reply, it is clear Rs 1000 crore expenditure on single brand Dolo 650 on freebies in one year is not correct,” IPA stated in an investigation report submitted to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

According to reports, NPPA had asked IPA to investigate the matter under the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) after receiving complaints fom medical associations, following which a three-member internal committee examined the issue.

Reportedly, the pharma body said that it has been misrepresented that they (Micro Labs) have incurred expenses of 1000 crores in one year.

“The total turnover of the company is Rs 4500 crores, out of which around Rs 2500 crores is domestic sales. The overall expenses on domestic sales in last four years (year by year on all activities) on an average are Rs 200 crores,” the IPA said in the report as quoted by several media.

Moreover, IPA also investigated whether DOLO-650 is the correct dosage to be administered to patients and if it is under price control. According to reports, the drug makers had informed that paracetamol 650 mg is an official formulation approved by Indian Pharmacopoeia in the year 2018.

Recently, Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Association of India, citing a report by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), and stated that the company gave over Rs 1,000 crore freebies to doctors for prescribing an irrational dose combination of Dolo-650. Moreover, the association sought to make pharmaceutical companies liable for giving freebies to doctors as an incentive to prescribe their drugs.

In July this year, the Income Tax Department conducted searches at the office and residences of top company officials for alleged tax evasion. DOLO-650 is a medicine used to treat fever and body aches. According to reports, in January this year, the drug was high in demand and came into the limelight with cornering sales of Rs 51.79 crore or about 23.4 million strips, as per Pharmasofttech AWACS report.

ALSO READ | SC seeks govt response on ‘gifts’ to doctors for prescribing Dolo tablet

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