Danish pharmaceutical company challenges Indian media report on drug

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Posted on: 
28 Mar 2013


Dr C M Gulhati

The drug, "Deanxit", was officially approved for use in India 14 years ago and has been on sale ever since. The drug is made by the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck and distributed in India by its wholly owned subsidiary. In early 2011 the story that Deanxit was not licensed in Denmark was reported by MIMS and subsequently picked up by several leading Indian papers including the Times of India and the Financial Express.

Lundbeck responded by filing a criminal and civil libel case against MIMS and its editor Dr. Chandra M. Gulhati, as well as against the two newspapers, claiming damage to its reputation. MLDI is paying MIMS’s legal costs and has arranged for libel barrister Jonathan Crystal to advise the local lawyers on defending the case.

Meanwhile, the story itself has moved on.

In 2012 a parliamentary committee in India said the decision to allow use of the drug had been “illegal” and criticised the regulator -- the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) -- for approving it. Noting that the drug was not marketed in many developed countries such as the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and Japan, the committee observed: “It is strange that the manufacturer is concentrating on tiny markets in unregulated or poorly-regulated developing countries ….. instead of countries with far more patients and profits.”