SC dismisses PIL seeking curbs on sale of Ranbaxy drugs

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed a petition for prohibiting Ranbaxy from producing and marketing its alleged "adulterated" medicines in the Indian market in the wake of reports of the pharma major having sold misbranded drugs in the US.

A bench of Justice A.K.Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by advocate M.L. Sharma, asking him to produce the material to show that drugs being marketed by the pharma major were substandard.

Holding that the courts could not be used for publicity, the court said: "You can't rely on newspaper reports. What is a relevant material in USA can't be relied upon in India."

"You show us some material to show that the drugs produced by Ranbaxy are misbranded, spurious or adulterated and they are harmful to people in India," the court said.

Justice Patnaik said: "Unless you show these materials, we can't interfere on PIL based on newspaper reports for the sake of publicity."

Dismissing the PIL, the court, however, granted liberty to Sharma to move a fresh petition if he gets new material to support his contention.

When the court took up the matter for hearing June 10, it had sought proof that the alleged adulterated drugs that were sold in US were being marketed in India too and were part of same consignment.

In the wake of Ranbaxy's $555 million out-of-court settlement with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for falsifying data and selling substandard drugs, Sharma moved the apex court seeking direction to the central government to prohibit the production and marketing of substandard drugs by Ranbaxy in India.

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