SC rejects PIL against Ranbaxy for spurious drugs

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 26 2013, 09:59am hrs
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking a ban on manufacture and sale of drugs by Ranbaxy Laboratories due to lack of evidence against the India's largest drug company by sales.

A bench comprising justices AK Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi, however, gave liberty to the petitioner ML Sharma, an advocate, to file a fresh petition if he finds some material evidence against the company in support of his allegation that the company is engaged in manufacturing and selling of substandard medicines in the country.

It said that no material has been placed before the court to show that drugs manufactured by any of Ranbaxy's Indian manufacturing units are of substandard quality or adulterated or spurious in nature.

The bench said that it cannot decide the plea against the company on the basis of a judgment passed by a US court against Ranbaxy.

Your entire argument is based on proceedings in the US. We have no jurisdiction over it. Show us material that things are happening in India and it adversely affects right to life of people here, the court observed, adding that no material has been placed to show that drugs manufactured by any unit of Ranbaxy are substandard, adulterated, spurious and that such drugs are prohibited under the law. In absence of such material, we cannot entertain the plea.

Welcoming the dismissal of the PIL, a Ranbaxy spokesperson said: At Ranbaxy, we are committed to patient safety and ethical business practices and we will continue to offer high quality drug products to all of our customers in India and worldwide.

Sharma in his PIL had stated that for sale of spurious and substandard drugs, as admitted by Ranbaxy before the US Food & Drug Administration last month, the Indian government should cancel the licence granted to the company for producing drugs in the country.

The petitioner wanted the government to seal and stop Ranbaxy's manufacturing units in India, including those in Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh and Dewas in MP.

He said that no action to stop Ranbaxy drugs from being sold in India has been taken though the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges of selling adulterated medicines and agreed to a $500-million settlement.

The US Food & Drug Administration had found these two plants to be in violation of good manufacturing practices mandated in that country.