Indian court grants temporary relief to Abbott, Glenmark in drug ban case

An Abbott company logo is pictured at the reception of its office in Mumbai, India, September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian court on Tuesday granted interim injunction to U.S. drugmaker Abbott's India unit ABOT.NS, and domestic companies Glenmark Pharmaceuticals GLEN.NS and Macleods Pharmaceuticals, on the prohibition on sale of several combination drugs.

India banned 344 drug combinations over the weekend, including Abbott’s codeine-based cough syrup, after a government panel of experts found they had “no therapeutic justification.”

The judge in the Delhi High court granted an interim stay to the pharmaceutical companies and said regulators should take “no coercive steps” against them. The case will now be heard on March 21.

The Indian unit of U.S. drugmaker Pfizer PFE.NPFIZ.NS had on Monday won a similar reprieve on a ban on its popular cough syrup Corex.

Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee