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New Delhi: Pharmaceutical company Novartis India Ltd posted a 69% drop in net profit to 14 crore in the September quarter from 45.5 crore in the year-ago quarter on muted sales of its over-the-counter and animal health products.

The company reported a 9% gain in net sales to 228 crore in the fiscal second quarter from 209 crore a year ago.

Sales from the animal health business fell to 24 crore from 29 crore a year ago. Net profit from the over-the-counter business dropped to 1.5 crore from 5.3 crore a year ago.

The company said that as part of its global portfolio transformation, its parent Novartis AG was selling its global animal health business to Eli Lilly. Novartis India’s board approved the transfer of its animal health division to Elanco India Pvt. Ltd, an affiliate of Eli Lilly, for 86.6 crore.

In May, it filed a petition in the Delhi high court, challenging the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority’s (NPPA’s) move to include Voveran 50 GE tablets under the Drug Price Control Order 2013.

The Delhi high court issued a notice to NPPA on 16 May, directing it to file its response. During the pendency of the writ petition, NPPA issued a showcause notice to the company on 24 September, alleging that it was over-charging for Voveran tablets.

“The company has now received a demand notice from the NPPA on October 31 directing that 28.18 crore be paid by November 15, 2014. This demand is being contested following due process of law," a company statement said.

The half-year performance of the firm for this fiscal year also suffered. Net sales for the six months to 30 September stood at 430 crore, compared with 428 crore during the same period last year. Net profit tumbled 52% to 28 crore in the six-month period, from 59 crore a year ago.

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