Glenmark plea to use drug stock rejected

Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected generic drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ plea seeking permission to utilise its existing stock of the active ingredient sitagliptin, used for the manufacture of its anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met.

In a patent infringement case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected generic drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ plea seeking permission to utilise its existing stock of the active ingredient sitagliptin, used for the manufacture of its anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met.

A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana said it didn’t consider it appropriate to create additional rights in favour of Glenmark at this stage, when the Delhi High Court hearing on the dispute between Glenmark and US-based Merck, Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) is about to conclude. “The registrar of the Delhi HC is also directed to inform this court about the pending suit relating to the patent infringement after the judgement is delivered by the HC,” the bench said.

The judges further said that if the high court order went in favour of Glenmark, it would be free to produce its drug anyway and even the company could seek permission from the HC to allow it to use the existing stock.

Merck’s India unit had dragged Glenmark to court in 2013, seeking to halt the sale of a more affordable version of the latter’s diabetes drug used for the treatment of Type II diabetes. The MNC had alleged infringement of a patent it has on sitagliptin, the chemical compound in its anti-diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet, and sought an injunction against Glenmark marketing the generic version of its diabetes drug.

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