Drug firm Micro Labs has termed the allegations that it offered freebies worth Rs 1,000 crore to doctors to promote its anti-inflammatory drug Dolo 650 as baseless.
The Supreme Court on Thursday was told by an NGO that the Central Board of Direct Taxes has accused the Bengaluru-based drug firm of distributing Rs 1,000 crore freebies to doctors for prescribing its 650 mg tablets.
In a statement, a Micro Labs spokesperson said that in some of the recent media reports it has been falsely and maliciously alleged that the company has been distributing freebies worth Rs 1,000 crore to promote Dolo 650 in one year.
“This is highly misleading and is affecting the reputation of Micro Labs, pharmaceutical industry and doctors,” the spokesperson added.
The annual sales of Dolo 650 have been Rs 360 crores, about 8 per cent of the company sales.
Despite the raw material cost tripling during COVID times, Micro Labs maintained its uninterrupted supplies without any price change as per the government fixed retail price of less than Rs 2 per tablet, the spokesperson noted.
With an economical option like Dolo 650, doctors across the country have been able to manage most of their patients in the pandemic without resorting to expensive antiviral and other drugs, the spokesperson said.
“To think of distribution of freebies worth thousands of crores is thus highly preposterous. The company would like to clarify that the amount referred to pertains to the total sales and marketing expenses incurred by the company for its total India business in the last five years’ period and spent across its whole portfolio,” the spokesperson added.
The medication has been prescribed by doctors due to its quality, effective and speedy relief from fever and on the trust built over three decades, the spokesperson said.
“We are fully cooperating with the authorities to provide all the necessary information and explanation for their due consideration,” the spokesperson added.
Last month, the Income Tax department had conducted searches at the premises of the drug firm over alleged tax evasion.