Pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy on murky grounds
Ranbaxy’s Fraudulent Practices
Ranbaxy is a name often heard of. It is an Indian pharmaceutical company and the 1st foreign generics manufacturer to sell drugs in the US. It has risen rapidly to become the 6th largest generic drug maker of India. Now the majority of its stake is owned by a Japanese drug-maker Daiichi Sankyo which sells its products in more than 150 countries and has about 14600 employees worldwide.
Of late the drug making company has been engulfed with fraudulent charges which are nothing less than a faux pas for its global reputation. In May 2013 Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal courts of selling adulterated drugs with its intent to defraud, it’s failing to report that its drugs didn’t meet specifications and its making of false statements intentionally. As a penalty it had to pay $500 million to US as fine.
It has been scorned that Ranbaxy scientists are routinely directed to substitute cheaper, lower quality ingredients in place of better ingredients, to manipulate test parameters for accommodating higher impurities and even substituting brand name drugs in lieu of their own generics in bio equivalence tests to produce better results.
It has also indulged in back dating and forging data. “Who cares! Its just Blacks dying”, was a comment made by a senior executive when concerns about the quality of Ranbaxy’s AIDS medicines were raised. One feels pity towards the plight of the clients who had to consume such dubious and adulterated products. Worst was the case in November 2012 when Ranbaxy had to issue a massive recall notice for the drug ‘atorvastatin’ calcium tablets, after glass particles were discovered in its samples.
What has been commented on, far less after Ranbaxy’s deception came to light, is that the lives of millions of consumers of India, Africa, US and other nations in the world, have been jeopardised by their consumption of the company’s adulterated drugs.
The negligence on the part of Indian regulators, in taking strong steps towards the problem and their failure in making the perpetrators of fraud, meet their nemesis...is shocking. It is widely believed that Indian pharma sector has complete manufacturing competence. If this credibility is eroded then the current plans of boosting pharma exports to $20 billion by 2020 will be shattered. Swift remedial measures are called for… on part of the industry as well as of the government. Even the media has not brought Ranbaxy’s fraudulent and adulterated practices to limelight.
Ultimately-similar to all other high-level corruption cases-it may be that the government will respond adequately only when there is a surge of public protest.
Otherwise, the next time you fall ill, the prescription may well be glass particles.
Edited by , Swastika Sinha, Editor @ Nationsroot