New Delhi: The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition by drug major GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd seeking to restrain the Centre from taking coercive action against the firm, on which the Union government slapped a notice to pay more than Rs3.18 crore.
The notice concerned the alleged overpricing of Zevit Forte capsule, a multi-vitamin and minerals formulation.
GlaxoSmithKline, which markets the formulation manufactured by Bangalore-based Remidex, also sought to restrain the Ministry of Chemicals and Petrochemicals from taking coercive measures by way of attachment proceedings if the amount was not paid.
A bench headed by Justice B N Agarwal dismissed the GSK petition. The amount charged includes 10% recovery charges.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had dismissed GSK’s plea and held that Zevit Forte capsules were covered by the Price Fixation Notification dated 24 December, 2002, till the subsequent notification of 7 February, 2006, more specific and explicit, came into force.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had made huge demands on the petitioner on the basis that Zevit Forte capsules were covered by the 2002 Notification.
Challenging the High Court judgment, the drug major said that the formulation in Zevit Forte (multivitamins and mineral capsules) was covered by the 2006 Notification only, as its ingredients were widely different from those given in the 2002 Notification, which deals only with vitamins.
According to the petitioner, the High Court disregarded a clarificatory circular issued by the NPPA on 27 March, 2006, which said that the 2002 Price Notification did not apply to its formulation sold under Zevit Forte capsules.