Wockhardt gets kicked in the gut again

There is more financially painful news for India's Wockhardt. India has banned the sale of painkiller dextropropoxyphene, and Wockhardt's branded version, Proxyvon, made up about 4% of its sales.

That alone would not be too serious, but the company last month said the FDA had put an import alert on one of its Indian plants because of manufacturing issues, a move it said could cost it $100 million in lost sales.

According to Bloomberg, market research firm AIOCD AWACS says Wockhardt had 91% of the Indian market for the drug and had sales of nearly $17 million for it. But there have been studies that linked the opioid to toxicity in the heart. Sales of the drug were banned in Europe in 2009 and the U.S. in 2010.

In May, the Indian generics maker acknowledged the import alert for a solid dose and injectables plant in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. That means none of the products from the facility can be sold in the U.S. The company said it would shift production to some other plants to limit the financial damage. Wockhardt Chairman Habil Khorakiwala acknowledged, however, that the ban could cost the company $100 million in lost sales. Bloomberg says the price of shares for the Indian traded company are down 34% this year.

- read the Bloomberg story

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