On 15 November 2011 the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and others in a matter concerning Adcock Ingram’s resistance to the MCC’s decision to cancel the registration of drugs containing dextropropoxyphene (DPP). The MCC made the decision in April 2011 after coming to the conclusion that the drugs pose a danger to the public. Previously the state attorney, purporting to act on behalf of the MCC and others, entered into a settlement with Adcock Ingram that allowed the company to continue selling the drugs. This settlement was made an order of court. On 15 November 2011 the court set aside the settlement.
The case is important because it has resulted in the removal of products from the market that the MCC and other stringent drug regulatory authorities have deemed unsafe. Importantly, it reaffirms the MCC’s statutory and constitutional duties to protect public health by ensuring that medicines are safe and basing its decisions on the available evidence. The judgment rightly places the health and safety of the public over profits of the pharmaceutical company. company.