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Cipla vs Novartis: Delhi HC refuses interim relief to Cipla

In yet another disappointment for Mumbai-based drug maker Cipla, the Delhi High Court has refused interim relief to the company against its earlier order barring Cipla from selling cheaper generic of Novartis’ respiratory drug Onbrez.

The court has fixed the matter next for an urgent hearing on February 5 and as mentioned in the earlier order by Justice Manmohan Singh, Cipla will be allowed to sell the remaining stock.

On Wednesday, Cipla scrip was down by about 0.68% at Rs 632 while shares of Novartis were down by over 1.5% at Rs 660 on BSE.

Onbrez patent runs out in 2020 and Cipla in its appeal, when Novartis sued the former, had said that the amount of drug sold by Novartis in India is not adequate given the number of people affected from respiratory diseases.

Cipla which is allowed by the court to sell the existing stock of Onbrez sells its almost five times cheaper at Rs 130 for every 10 pills while the same is sold at Rs 677 per 10 pills by Novartis.

The development dates back to Novartis moving to the Delhi High Court in December last year, seeking to restrain Cipla from selling the generic version of the drug Onbrez. Before that, Cipla had requested the government to revoke five patents, owned by Novartis, with regards to the respiratory drug.

Cipla had pointed out that Novartis has had patents on the medicine since 2008, but instead of producing it in India has imported only a “negligible quantity”, leading to a shortage in the market.

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