Ruling on Merck diabetes drug shows domestic firms not favored in India courts

Dilip Shah, secretary-general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, said this week's decision by the Delhi High Court against homegrown Glenmark Pharmaceuticals showed "due process was followed" and that Indian companies could not count on Indian courts for special treatment, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

India's Glenmark has been barred by the country's top court from selling a generic copy of the popular Merck ($MRK) diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin), saying the generic version used the same active ingredient as Merck's popular treatment and as such infringed on Merck's patent, the WSJ said.

Merck originally filed the patent-infringement case in 2013, but the Delhi High Court at the time rejected the company's request for an injunction against Glenmark, which allowed it to keep selling its Zita and Zita-Met treatments. In May of this year, however, the court ordered Glenmark to cease selling or making its generic products, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The court ordered on Wednesday that Glenmark pay an undisclosed portion of Merck's legal fees, the WSJ said, but it did not impose fines or other compensation to Merck. Glenmark is also being allowed to sell product that has already been shipped to distributors and retailers.

- here's the story from the WSJ (sub. req.)
- and one from LiveMint