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Consumer goods major Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Healthcare has discontinued manufacture and sale ofVicks Action 500 Extra, after a ban by the central government on 344 fixed-dose combination drugs.

In a statement to the stock exchanges on Tuesday, the firm said Vicks Action 500 Extra had the same fixed dose combination of paracetamol, phenylephrine and caffeine as indicated by the government in its gazette notification dated March 10, 2016. “The product gets covered under this notification and accordingly we have discontinued manufacture and sale of  all SKUs (stock-keeping units) with immediate effect,” the company said.

But, in response to a mail sent by Business Standard,the company said it was evaluating all options to challenge the notification. “The health, safety and well-being of our consumers is our number one priority. Vicks products, including Vicks Action 500 Extra, are backed by research to support their safety, quality and efficacy. It has products approved by government regulators in around 60 countries, and enjoys an excellent safety record,” a company spokesperson said.

P&G stops making, selling Vicks Action 500 Extra

While the company did not indicate the sales contribution of Vicks Action 500 Extra, analysts say it makes up a small portion of the Vicks portfolio, which includes the popular Vicks Vaporub and Vicks Inhaler.

The Vicks portfolio, a legacy brand, cumulatively, according to analysts, contributes about Rs 500-600 crore in terms of turnover to P&G Hygiene and Healthcare. The other brand Whisper is a bigger contributor at over Rs 1,500 crore, while Old Spice, the latest addition to the portfolio, is estimated to be small.

The stock of P&G Hygiene and Healthcare was down two per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Tuesday following announcement of the discontinuation of manufacture and sale of Vicks Action 500 Extra.The stock closed at Rs 6,067 a share on Tuesday on the BSE.

P&G’s move, incidentally, comes after drug makers Pfizer and Abbott stopped sale of their popular cough syrups Corex and Phensedyl respectively following the ban.

The two companies, however, said they were exploring “all options” to counter the impact of ban. The Delhi High Court, for the record, has granted temporary relief to Pfizer on the cough syrup ban.

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