Despite high-profile Ranbaxy alerts, US FDA finds India okay

Jan 09 2014, 08:32 IST
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It is not obvious, therefore, that Indian companies should be subjected to such stiff and fractious scrutiny. It is not obvious, therefore, that Indian companies should be subjected to such stiff and fractious scrutiny.
SummaryIndia has 526 US FDA units but China attracts only 10% of FDA inspections outside the US.

in 2012. The data include adverse reports issued to drug manufacturers, food product makers and bio-research monitoring individuals.

“Observations are made when in the investigator’s judgment, conditions or practices observed would indicate that any food, drug, device or cosmetic has been adulterated or is being prepared, packed, or held under conditions whereby it may become adulterated or rendered injurious to health,” the USFDA guidelines state.

The USFDA does not make public the details or issuance of a Form 483 while companies have seldom disclosed the receipt of this document. No details of the alleged violations were provided to FE.

A Form 483, theoretically, is a precursor to a warning letter, if the issues identified during an investigation remain unresolved. A warning letter may lead to an import alert if the violations continue to remain serious and the regulator anticipates them to pose a significant risk to US citizens.

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries, India’s largest drug firm by sales, received five Form 483 in the period mentioned above, four of them in 2012. Sun Pharma’s Karkhadi facility located in Gujarat, inspected in November 2013, was the latest Sun facility to get a warning letter.

“The issuance of a Form 483, or a list of observations, is a usual practice after the USFDA completes its inspection of a plant. This includes all types of observations as may be appropriate for the facility. As a company with a long-term interest in the US pharmaceutical market, we remain compliant at all times and close out the 483s as soon as possible, either internally or along with an external consultant as may be appropriate,” Sun Pharmaceutical said, when asked about whether the issues identified in its facilities were resolved as on date.

Sun Pharma’s Caraco facility in Detroit had received a warning letter in 2008 which was lifted in August 2012. Its New Jersey unit was also the recipient of a warning letter in 2010 which was later resolved in October 2011.

Mumbai’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ subsidiary Glenmark Generics received two Form 483s in 2013 and two in 2011. The company’s Colvale Bardez facility in Goa received negative observations in 2011 and again when it was inspected in July 2013. The other two units to receive the Form were its Ankleshwar and Indore units.

“We have been inspected several times over the last few years and we believe that we are compliant on all our

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