Daiichi Sankyo is threatening to sue the Singh family for concealment and misrepresentation of data. When asked to comment on this, Dinesh Thakur, the Ranbaxy whistleblower, says he has no basis to comment on any of this, as he left the company in 2005.
When asked if Daiichi Sankyo is using the allegations or charges that Thakur has levelled against Ranbaxy as the basis for pursuing legal recourse against the Singh brothers, Andrew Beato, attorney for Dinesh Thakur, says that he doesn't agree with the characterisation about what Daiichi Sankyo may be using as evidence. He says Thakur has not been contacted by anyone regarding this.
Here is the edited transcript of the interview with CNBC-TV18
Q: Over the last 24 hours, a virtual war of words has broken out between the current owners of Ranbaxy, that’s Daiichi Sankyo, and the former owner-promoters, the Singh family. Daiichi Sankyo is threatening to sue the Singh family for concealment and misrepresentation of data. The Singh family came out today, refuting all allegations of concealment and misrepresentation as baseless. What do you make of this and do you believe that Daiichi Sankyo should have acted sooner?
Thakur: I have no basis to comment on any of this. I left the company in 2005 and I have been out of the company since then. I have nothing to say what happened after I left.
Q: It seems that Daiichi Sankyo is using the allegations or the charges that you have leveled against Ranbaxy as the basis for pursuing this legal remedy or legal recourse against the Singh brothers. Has anyone from Daiichi Sankyo contacted you about the charges and the evidence that you had presented to the US justice department?
Beato: I don’t agree with the characterisation about what Daiichi Sankyo may or may not be using as evidence. That is only to be answered by the attorney's representing that company. Thakur has not been contacted by anyone.
Q: You have stated that senior leadership in 2005 ordered the destruction of evidence. You have also said that data was falsified with the knowledge approval and at the direction of senior management. Can you tell us if senior management included the promoter's owners of Ranbaxy at the time?
Thakur: I was not a part of any of those meetings at the board level. I just have to investigate whether data that was filed with the regulators match with what the company has in its records which is what my mandate was. So, I really can't comment on who participated in those meetings.
Q: So you cannot confirm if this matter was indeed taken up by the board because that is an allegation that the Singh brothers have denied?
Thakur: As my complaint says that this matter was discussed at the board, but I was not a part of that meeting. So, I cannot comment on who was present at those meetings.
Q: You can confirm that this data of the alleged falsification of data was brought up in two board meetings – one in September 2004 and once in December 2004?
Thakur: I don’t remember the exact date but yes, there were two different meetings and this was the topic of discussion in those two meetings.
Q: Did you have any conversation with the then owner-promoters of Ranbaxy, the Singh brothers on the data that you had uncovered on the evidence that you had uncovered or was your conversation only with your then superior Rajinder Kumar?
Thakur: The conversation on this issue was limited to my superior Rajinder Kumar.
Q: You had no occasion of meeting with the Singh brothers outside of even discussing the evidence with them. You had no occasion of meeting with them to appraise them of any of these matters that you felt were serious enough to be investigated?
Thakur: I was responsible for portfolio management. I ran a quarterly portfolio review meetings in which Singh was a participant. If you are asking me specifically about this particular issue, whether I had an opportunity to talk to Singh about this issue? No I have not.
Q: You also said Thakur that a wider probe was conducted between August and November 2004, which included all generics, which also revealed violations of good manufacturing practices (GMP). Who authorised this probe, was it also your then superior or were other individuals within the company Brian Tempest for instance and other board members perhaps also involved in authorising that investigation?
Thakur: The investigation was initiated on the behest of Kumar, who was my manager and continued until I left the company in April of 2005.
Q: If Daiichi Sankyo were to reach out to you and ask you to support if they do decide to go the legal route – they haven't sent a legal notice to the Singh brothers yet, but if they were to choose that route would you be willing to support Daiichi Sankyo in its legal battle?
Beato: We have not been contacted and he has made abundantly clear, he left the company in 2005 and would have no information to contribute to anyone after that point in time.