Indian generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories will stop manufacturing its version of Pfizer Inc's cholesterol fighter, Lipitor, while it gets to the bottom of the cause of a recent recall, the US Food and Drug Administration said on its website.
Indian generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories
Earlier this month, Ranbaxy recalled certain lots of the widely used cholesterol lowering medicine known generically as atorvastatin at doses of 10 milligrams, 20 mg and 40 mg after the company discovered contamination with tiny glass particles.
There have so far been no reports of patients being harmed due to the glass particulates, the FDA said.
The agency said it does not anticipate drug shortages due to the recall as several other companies also produce generic Lipitor, while Pfizer still sells its branded version.
FDA said it was monitoring the situation and working with other manufacturers to ensure adequate supply in order to avoid shortages of atorvastatin as a result of the recall.
During its first six months on the market, when it enjoyed marketing exclusivity, atorvastatin generated sales of nearly USD600 million for Ranbaxy, according to Bhagwan Singh Chaudhary, a research associate at the brokerage IndiaNivesh
FDA said it will continue to oversee the recall process and work with the Ranbaxy to resolve pharmaceutical quality issues.
The recall is the latest in a series of manufacturing problems at Ranbaxy, which is operating under heightened scrutiny due to past problems that nearly derailed it ability to sell atorvastatin in the United States.
In 2008, the FDA banned the company from importing about 30 drugs after it found manufacturing deficiencies at two of the company's facilities in India, and Ranbaxy was later accused of falsifying data used in drug applications.
Under a proposed settlement earlier this year, Ranbaxy agreed to engage a third party to conduct a review of its facilities, implement procedures to ensure data integrity in its marketing applications, and ensure it meets good manufacturing practices.
Ranbaxy Labs stock price
On December 22, 2014, Ranbaxy Laboratories closed at Rs 615.40, down Rs 2.05, or 0.33 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 697.50 and the 52-week low was Rs 306.05.
The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 20.91 per share as per the quarter ended September 2014. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 29.43. The latest book value of the company is Rs 25.82 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 23.83.
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