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Last Updated : Jul 10, 2019 06:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Novartis relaunches anti-pain injection Voveran 1 ml to protect its turf

The popular pain relief injection was banned in July 2018 for using an excipient called Transcutol-P that allegedly causes slow damage to the kidneys

Viswanath Pilla @viswanath_pilla
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Novartis India has launched a new version of Voveran 1 ml after the popular pain relief injection was banned in July 2018 for using an excipient called Transcutol-P that allegedly causes slow damage to the kidneys.

An excipient is an inert substance used in formulating a drug.

Sources told Moneycontrol that the latest version of the Voveran 1 ml injection is reformulated without Transcutol-P and is sourced from a different supplier.

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The company's banned product was earlier sourced from Themis Medicare, whose petition against the ban was dismissed by Delhi High Court last week.

The relaunch will help Novartis regain market share loss in the diclofenac 1 ml injection category that is worth Rs 250 crore. In its absence, competitor Troikaa's diclofenac injection Dynapar AQ has emerged the leader with over 50 percent of the market share.

Voveran pain injection is part of Novartis India's pain management portfolio that includes several diclofenac formulations such as tablets, sprays, gels and injections. The Voveran brand generates about more than one-third of Novartis sales, and the injection was almost half of those sales.

The ban on Voveran 1 ml also had an impact on Novartis' FY19 financials. The company's revenues from operations in the year ended March 31, 2019, declined 13 percent year-on-year to Rs 490.7 crore, and profit dropped even steeper by 34 percent to Rs 51.8 crore in the same period. The company also had to take a write-down of its inventory.

The declining revenues had forced Novartis to take corrective action and the company has also launched a line extension called Voveran maxxgel along with the Voveran 1 ml injection.

"We continued to face several challenges. We have, however, taken steps to increase efficiencies in the way we work through various measures including reorganization of people and repurposing our product portfolio," said Sanjay Murdeshwar, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Novartis, in the company's annual report.

Murdeshwar was appointed head India operations of Novartis in June 2019.

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First Published on Jul 10, 2019 06:45 pm
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