In a major relief for German drug major Bayer Corporation, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday barred Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma from exporting anti-cancer drug Sorefenat. It is the generic alternative to Bayer's Nexavar, and is used to treat a type of kidney cancer called advanced renal cell carcinoma as well as liver cancer.
However, the HC has granted liberty to Natco to seek permission for exporting the drug in case it receives the nod from Drug Controlling Authority
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For now, the court has issued notice to the Centre, customs authorities and Natco, seeking their replies on the plea of Bayer which has alleged that the generic drug is being made under compulsory licence for sale in India and thus, it cannot be exported. The matter has been put up for further hearing on August 11.
In its plea, the German company had sought directions to the customs authorities to seize and confiscate the consignment containing Sorafenat manufactured by Natco Pharma under compulsory licence granted by the patent office on March 9, 2012.
It had contended that the compulsory licence was granted with the condition that permission is being given for making and selling the drug only "within the territory of India".
Natco, on the other hand, submitted before the court that it has been selling the drug Sorefenat only in India and that it can't be faulted in the event purchasers and retailers of its medicine sell it abroad.