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More trouble for Ranbaxy as drug boycott to continue

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

After the US and Indian authorities, the medicines manufactured by Ranbaxy Laboratories are now under the scanner of hospitals, too. Mumbai's leading Jaslok Hospital has already put up a notice advising its doctors to avoid prescribing Ranbaxy drugs, while some others are reviewing the matter. Medanta Medicity officials say they will soon assess the situation and take a decision.

"I have received around a dozen queries from patients recently. 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," Medanta Chairman and Managing Director Naresh Trehan said.

A senior official of Apollo Hospitals told Business Standard it was reviewing the situation and would take action, if necessary. The hospital hasn't issued an advisory so far.

"We will be able to give you some update tomorrow," said a senior official at Breach Candy, another leading Mumbai hospital.

Sources said Jaslok Hospital put up the notice four days ago, saying Ranbaxy medicines would not be available at the hospital and doctors should, as far as possible, not prescribe these drugs. The hospital has, however, not specified any reason. Phone calls and messages sent to Jaslok CEO R R Pulgaonkar remained unanswered.

The move has come a fortnight after Ranbaxy pleaded guilty in the US to making fraudulent statements to the US drug regulator about testing drugs. The company also agreed to pay a $500-million penalty to authorities there.

If more hospitals decide to stop prescribing Ranbaxy medicines, the trouble for the company might intensify, pulling down its sales in some of its major markets in the quarters to come.

When contacted, a Ranbaxy spokesperson refused to offer comments.

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First Published: Wed, May 29 2013. 00:58 IST