Ranbaxy Laboratories' damage control exercise after the US fiasco is yet to see the intended impact as reservations in India about usage of the company's medicines are only increasing, let alone subsiding.
After major hospitals, now it is the turn of the country's largest pharmacy chain to restrict sales of the drug major's products.
According to a report in the Business Standard today, Apollo Pharmacy has suspended sale and further procurement of medicines manufactured by Ranbaxy temporarily.
Apollo's medical committee reviewed the matter, and as a cautionary measure, recommended the pharmacy should temporarily suspend sale of its medicines as it can't take any chance with patients' safety, the report said.
Apollo has also sought details, including re-certification of existing stock and test reports of other medicines from Ranbaxy, the report added.
Apollo Pharmacy is owned Apollo Hospitals.
A fortnight ago, Ranbaxy offered to pay a $500 million fine for selling adulterated drugs and pleaded guilty to seven criminal counts including fudging of data, intention to defraud and failing to report that its drug didn’t meet specifications, following which Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital stopped prescribing Ranbaxy drugs to their patients.
Even the Indian Medical Association has asked the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to investigate the quality of drugs sold by Ranbaxy Laboratories in India.
The stock is down over 17 percent in the last month as fears of more hospitals banning Ranbaxy's drugs could severely impact the company's revenues.
"I will be very careful of Ranbaxy at this point. I think some of the allegations that FDA have made need to be looked into more thoroughly out there", BSE member Ramesh Damani, was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to an early hearing of the PIL filed against Ranbaxy's manufacturing licence, CNBC- TV18 reported citing news agency cogencis. The apex court will hear the PIL next week which sought the shutdown of two manufacturing plants of Ranbaxy in India on grounds that it fudged data and sold adulterated drugs in the US. The litigation also wants the court to order a CBI probe into the matter and launch criminal proceedings against Ranbaxy directors who were at the company when the fraud was executed.
However, the problem of adulterated drugs is not a Ranbaxy specific problem. Reportedly, 46 import alerts have been issued to pharma companies in India, including, Sterling Biotech, Aurobindo Pharma, Lupin and Claris Lifesciences.