HC order against marketing of Cipla`s anti-cancer drug stayed

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed for a month a Delhi High Court order restraining pharma major Cipla from marketing its anti-cancer drug "Sunitinib."

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra put on hold the operation of the high court`s order on a plea by Cipla against it and sought replies of the Centre and two US drug companies, Sugen Inc and Pharmacia and Upjohn Company.

"Issue notice, returnable on December 5, 2012. There shall be interim stay of operation of the impugned orders of October 12, 2012 and October 8, 2012 of the high court for a period of one month," the bench said.

Cipla had moved the apex court against the high court`s decisions restraining it from marketing its medicine on a plea by the US firms Sugen Inc and Upjohn against the revocation of the patent granted to them for a similar drug.

Senior advocate Harish Salve and advocate Pratibha Singh mentioned the petition on behalf of Cipla before the bench.

The US companies patent had been revoked by the Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs on September 24, 2012 on a plea by Cipla.

In its special leave petition, Cipla has contended that the high court`s order was without jurisdiction as the US firms should have appealed against the revocation of their patent before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) and not in a writ petition.

The division bench of the high court had later confirmed its single-judge bench`s order against which Cipla approached the apex court.

Cipla has said in its plea that the medicine it intends to market costs only a quarter of the price of the similar drug made by the US companies.


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