Ranbaxy weighs closure of Indian bulk-drug plant

Ranbaxy Laboratories may shut down one of its biggest bulk-drug plants, Indian newspapers are reporting. Sources are saying that the Daiichi Sankyo-owned drugmaker is outsourcing some production as it prepares to close the facility at Mohali, India. Among the outsourced products is the active ingredient in Ranbaxy's best-selling prescription drug, the cephalosporin antibiotic Sporidex.

The company has two production units in Mohali, one that makes bulk drugs and another that makes formulation medicines, the Economic Times reports. Sources tell the paper that locals have been complaining about pollution from the bulk-drug plant and that it may be closed as early as December of this year. However, the company says that it has "a healthy relationship with the community" near the plant. "As of now there are no plans for closure," a spokesman tells the ET.

Ranbaxy has had manufacturing problems serious enough to prompt an FDA ban on 30 of its drugs--and a moratorium on any new approvals of meds made at its plants in Paonta Sahib and Dewas, India. There's no indication that the Mohali plant has similar issues, but as Pharmalot points out, there may be another technical reason for a shutdown: New heavy-metal standards for pharma manufacturing. If the Mohali plant needs an upgrade to meet those standards, it may be cheaper for the company to shut it down and farm out production.

- see the ET piece
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