Hyderabad: Pfizer Ltd, Indian subsidiary of US-based drug maker Pfizer Inc., on Tuesday said it has decided to discontinue its popular cough syrup Corex in the present form, though it will retain the brand name for its future respiratory products.
“Pfizer Ltd has undertaken a comprehensive review of its respiratory offerings in order to better cover a broader range of indications through an expanded product portfolio,” the company said in a statement to stock exchanges.
“As a result of this review, the company will launch additional products while it may also discontinue the manufacture of certain SKUs (stock keeping units) where needed,” Pfizer said.
The company said it has decided to stop making the current Corex cough syrup formulation which is a combination of codeine phosphate 10 mg and chlorpheniramine maleate 4mg.
“Pfizer stands by the safety and efficacy of its current Corex cough syrup formulation that has been duly approved by central and state regulators. As with this formulation, all additional line extensions will be introduced with all due regulatory approvals in place,” the company said.
Pfizer said it will be launching a series of products as line extensions under the Corex brand name, starting with the first launch in December 2016 and subsequent launches over the next year.
The company remains committed to providing a more comprehensive set of solutions in respiratory indications, while ensuring minimal impact towards patients resulting from the discontinuation of manufacturing of the current Corex cough syrup formulation.
Corex cough syrup had sales of Rs244.48 crore in 2015-16. Its sales remained flat in the first half of 2016-17, the company said in its earnings call earlier this month.
Corex cough syrup was part of the 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs banned by the Centre in March on grounds that manufacturing, sale and distribution of FDCs as the said drugs have “no therapeutic justification” and are likely to “involve risk to human beings”.
Pfizer and dozens of other drug makers approached various high courts and obtained a stay on the ban.
The central government has moved the petition to the Supreme Court to transfer all the petitions across various high courts to the Supreme Court, where the hearing is underway.
Shares of Pfizer rose 0.65% and were trading at 1822.60 at 2.42pm on BSE, while the benchmark Sensex was up 0.26% to 26,418.78 points.