The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended its order that stayed a Delhi High Court decision restraining generic drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals from manufacturing and selling sitagliptin, an anti-diabetes drug.
A bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi while posting the matter for further hearing on May 12 continued its stay order that in effect allowed the generic pharma major to make and sell its anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met, which allegedly amounts to infringing the patent rights of US drug major Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), which manufactures sitagliptin under the brand names Januvia and Janumet.
“It is submitted that the impugned judgment suffers from blatant errors and is contrary to legal provisions along with well-settled principles of law as per which no interim injunction is granted in favour of a party if there is an alternative efficacious remedy available,” Glenmark had stated in its petition.
It further said that the HC order found certain points in its favour, but still went ahead and reversed the single judge’s which had refused to grant an injunction to Merck in April 2013. The HC had on March 20 this year restrained Glenmark from making or selling the anti-diabetes drug sitagliptin in a patent infringement case filed by Merck. The court had, however, allowed Glenmark to sell its inventory held by distributors and retailers.
Both Merck and Indian generic drug manufacturer Sun Pharmaceutical Industries — Merck’s licensee for making sitagliptin in India — had resisted the stay of the HC order by saying that the injunction was a “blatant infringement of a worldwide patent”.
Sun Pharma, which sells sitagliptin in India under the brand name Istavel and the sitagliptin-metformin combination under the brand name Istamet, has also sued Glenmark in this case.
Merck had approached HC in April 2013 to restrain Glenmark from manufacturing the drug used for the treatment of type II diabetes. Merck’s subsidiary in India had dragged Glenmark to court, seeking to halt the sale of a more affordable version of its diabetes drug. The MNC had sought an injunction against Glenmark marketing the generic version of its diabetes drug.