The Indian Medical Association said it will ask the Drugs Controller General of India, or DCGI, to probe the quality of drugs sold by Ranbaxy Laboratories (BOM:500359) in India.
"We will soon be writing to the DCGI asking them to check and investigate if Ranbaxy drugs are of poor quality," Narendra Saini, the secretary general of the Indian Medical Association, told the Economics Times.
"However, we will continue to prescribe the drugs to our patients until the investigation proves that the drugs are of poor quality," he added.
The move comes after Ranbaxy, India’s largest generic drug maker, pleaded guilty to felony charges, including selling adulterated drugs manufactured at its Indian facilities, and fudging data with an intention to defraud the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.
The ramifications of the FDA investigation and Ranbaxy’s subsequent admission of guilt are being felt in the domestic market. The issue has raised concerns over the safety of generic drugs as more companies come under scrutiny.
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Last week, the FDA issued an import alert for products made in the manufacturing facility of another Indian generic drug maker -- Wockhardt -- in the western Indian city of Aurangabad, a DNA News report said, citing analysts familiar with the development.
According to industry sources, a number of patients concerned about Ranbaxy medications in light of the company's recent headlines have started asking their doctors about the safety of Ranbaxy drugs. Major hospitals in India are reviewing their prescription policies for Ranbaxy drugs as well.
Mumbai-based Jaslok hospital has asked its doctors to refrain from prescribing Ranbaxy drugs to its patients, according to a Times of India report on Tuesday.
A senior officer at Apollo Hospitals told Business Standard it was reviewing the situation and will take necessary action accordingly.
"I have received around a dozen queries from patients recently," Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director of Medanta Medicity near New Delhi, said. "They want to check if there is any alternative to Ranbaxy medicines that they are taking currently. I think we will discuss this tomorrow and review what needs to be done."
Shares of Ranbaxy plunged more than 17 percent in the last two weeks following the settlement. Shares were trading 2.49 percent down at Rs 385.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon.