The color purple foils Dr. Reddy's Nexium generic in U.S.

A U.S. court has barred Dr. Reddy's Laboratories from selling its generic of AstraZeneca's ($AZN) heartburn drug Nexium after AstraZeneca objected to the Indian drugmaker's use of the color purple for the pills, according to reports.

The order is a temporary one, and the U.S. District Court in Delaware asked both companies to come up with a "course of action" before the next hearing or a full trial.

Dr. Reddy's said it is complying with the order and has ceased all sales of the drug, which raked in $1.93 billion for AstraZeneca in the 9 months to September 2015, according to a report by the Hindustan Times.

Analysts had previously said that Dr. Reddy's generic drug could bring in anywhere from $25 million to $35 million in fiscal 2016 profit, the newspaper said. In July the company unveiled plans to expand in the U.S. and emerging markets this year and launched a new look, including a corporate color scheme of purple.

It was unclear if the purple color of the pill was part of the company's overall branding exercise.

Dr. Reddy's launched the generic drug in September, weeks late, because it had to move production to a different plant after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discovered quality-control problems at the original plant, the report said.

Dr. Reddy's said it is "complying with the order of the court and simultaneously evaluating all possible options to resolve the matter at the earliest," according to a report by Livemint.

Dr. Reddy's is currently facing a third-party audit brought on by lapses at its various plants that will "take significant effort and time" to correct, company officials said this week.

- here's the story from the Hindustan Times
- and one from Livemint

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