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The Unnerving World Of Generic Drug Manufacturing In India Exposed

Katherine Eban's Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma published on 10 July 2019 came in like a truth-revealing serum, which exposed the fraudulent actions of the generic drug manufacturing companies in India. This came out as a big shock, considering the number of people who use generic medicines on a usual basis in India.

In 2008, investigative journalist Katherine Eban took up the task of investigating into the deeper layers of the generic drug industry after the rise in the number of global complaints on the ineffectiveness of the generic drugs.

The book "relies on over 20,000 FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) documents and interviews with over 240 people to show how fraud and treachery are deeply entrenched in much of the (generic drugs) industry in India and raises troubling questions about some of its biggest names - Wockhardt, Dr. Reddy's, Glenmark and RPG Life Sciences", as mentioned in the cover of Eban's book [1] .

Eban does not go in gently but instead lashes out the truth as it is, pointing out the major pharma companies of India that exports out to countries like the US and alike. The fraudulent actions taken up by the Indian generic medicine production companies in the mass production of medicines are reflected in the ineffectiveness and even the negative effects the medicines have on your body.

The investigation carried out on Ranbaxy and the findings of it which revealed the production and distribution of adulterated drug resulted in the company pleading guilty to seven charges of selling adulterated drugs and paid $500 million in fines. The investigation by Eban revealed the discrepancies being carried out in these big pharmas such as no stable or effective formulation of drugs, which not only causes minor side effects but also death in some cases [2] .

Eban went on to point out that, "You had to test the drugs to see if they were properly formulated, stable and effective. The resulting data was the only thing that proved the medicine would cure instead of kill. Yet Ranbaxy was treating data as an entirely fungible marketing tool ... it was an outright fraud that could mean the difference between life and death ... the company manipulated almost every aspect of its manufacturing process to quickly produce impressive-looking data that would bolster its bottom-line", revealing the truth as it is [1] .


However, it is not just manufacturing companies like Ranbaxy that comes under the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Various other generic medicine manufacturing companies produce higher quality for European and American markets due to the stricter regulations and sell ineffective medicines in the Indian market.

Eban goes onto exploring in detail, with the results destroying the common man's faith in Indian generic medicines. Well, it is not destroying the faith - but, placing the trust in the proper line and help the Indian citizens to choose the right kind of medication, which will help them and not cause further complications.

View Article References
  1. [1] Thapar, K. (2019, July 13). The scary truth behind generic drugs in India. Retrieved from
  2. [2] Srinivasan, S. (2019, June 16). The bitter side of India's pharma story. Retrieved from
    Story first published: Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 11:00 [IST]
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