Rabaxy hires Giuliani to lobby FDA

Ranbaxy Laboratories is calling in reinforcements--big-name reinforcements. The Indian generics maker has hired former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani to help it smooth relations with the FDA. Already thorny because of previous disputes over manufacturing safety, Ranbaxy's relationship with the agency worsened with Tuesday's ban on 30 Ranbaxy products.

What can Rudy do? His consulting firm's website says it specializes in helping companies "solve critical strategic issues." We'd say having virtually all of your drugs barred from a market that contributes over 20 percent of your sales is a "critical issue." But more to the point, Giuliani has represented another pharma firm in trouble with the government: He helped Purdue Pharma negotiate a settlement with prosecutors that kept execs out of jail.

Ranbaxy says retaining Giuliani should signal that the company is serious about working "cooperatively" with the FDA to get its drugs back on the market. Does this mean Ranbaxy is admitting to the manufacturing problems it denied before? We'll have to wait and see.

Ranbaxy's stock ended the day down 7 percent yesterday.

- check out Ranbaxy's response to the FDA
- view Ranbaxy's release regarding hiring Guiliani
- read the article from the BBC