Health Canada places import ban on Apotex and IPCA Laboratories

Canadian health minister Rona Ambrose

Whatever the FDA told Health Canada has had an effect. Days after Health Canada said it would talk to the FDA about Apotex, the regulator has banned the import of finished dosage forms and APIs from two of the drugmaker's plants in India.

Health Canada initially responded to the FDA putting Apotex's finished dose plant in Bangalore, India under import alert by asking the company to quarantine products manufactured at the facility. The quarantine bought Health Canada time to learn why the FDA issued the import alert and formulate its own response. Six days after calling for the quarantine, Health Canada has banned the import of 30 finished products--and a similar number of APIs--that Apotex manufactures at its Bangalore plants.

The regulator has also banned almost 20 APIs--and 50 products in which they are used--from IPCA Laboratories. A common thread links the regulatory actions: Data integrity. "This latest information puts into question Health Canada's trust in the reliability of data that all three plants are required by law to provide to demonstrate the safety and quality of their products," Canadian health minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement.

Reports of data integrity failings at IPCA emerged after FDA visited a plant in July and issued a Form 483. Staff at the IPCA site allegedly falsified temperature records, tweaked integration parameters and overwrote raw data. FDA inspectors visited Apotex around the same time, leading to a warning letter detailing the discarding of undesirable assay results and other data integrity problems.

- read Health Canada's release
- here's the import ban list
- check out Ambrose's statement
- and the Toronto Star's coverage