Ranbaxy profits hit hard as FDA ban starts to sting

India's Ranbaxy Laboratories saw its profits laid low by a variety of issues, including a ban the FDA imposed in September on the last plant in India still approved to manufacture drugs for the U.S.

The drugmaker reported a $73.3 million loss after posting a $122.6 billion profit in the same quarter a year ago, Reuters reported. Part of the issue was foreign exchange losses and the loss of exclusivity for some drugs, but it also was undercut by lower sales in the U.S. The company said it had North American sales of Rs.8.8 billion ($143 million), compared with $167 million in North American sales in the same quarter a year ago.

The FDA in September imposed the ban on the plant in Mohali, India, after inspectors found rampant problems, including toilets without running water. They also discovered a drug tablet that appeared to have a human hair sticking from it. Others had oil spots on them. And plant managers were not getting to the root cause of the problems. With the ban, Ranbaxy is left with only a plant in New Jersey approved to sell into the U.S., a market that had accounted for about 40% of its revenues, Reuters points out.

Two other Ranbaxy plants have been banned from U.S. sales since 2008 for producing subpar drugs and then covering up the problems. In May, the company paid $500 million to settle U.S. charges tied to the problems at those plants.

- here's the earnings release
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