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Indian Drugmaker Recalls Thousands of Bottles of Generic Lipitor

The Indian drugmaker, Ranbaxy, has seen its share of problems but there seems to be no end in sight.  The company recently announced a recall of 64,000 bottles of its generic Lipitor after a dosage mix-up.  A pharmacist who received the generic medication discovered a 20 mg tablet in a bottle of 10 mg, leading Ranbaxy to issue the recall.

Ranbaxy Already Under Scrutiny in Past Several Years

As I mentioned, this isn’t the first time Ranbaxy has been in trouble.  Last year, news arose that a former Ranbaxy employee discovered that the company was fabricating the effectiveness of its drugs to bypass the FDA.  However, when the employee attempted to share his discovery with executives at the company, he was quickly shut down.  The company is India’s biggest pharmaceutical company in terms of revenue, and is owned by a Japanese businessman.  Because of its ongoing problems with the U.S., Ranbaxy has all but issued a ceasing of shipments of its generic drugs to the U.S. market, which is its biggest.

Nearly 40 Percent of Generic Drugs Produced in India 

Indian drugmakers such as Ranbaxy, Wockhardt, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories have come under increased scrutiny by the FDA in recent years, but still generate about 40% of the U.S. generic drug supply.  This is changing, as the FDA as declared that these generic drugs fall below “good manufacturing practices” and declared the generic Lipitor produced by Ranbaxy as a Class II risk.  A Class II risk carries with it the remote chance of severe adverse consequences or even death due to product flaws.  Considering that generic drugs represent 80% of the U.S. drug supply, it’s important that we protect ourselves from faulty and dangerous products such as Ranbaxy’s generic Lipitor.

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