FDA approves Ranbaxy Laboratories’ drugs despite allegations of fraud and more

FDA has approved 18 products, including generic versions of commonly used cholesterol and allergy medications, by pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy Laboratories, even though the government has accused the company of serious violations.

The government agency issued warnings to Ranbaxy late last year for more than 30 of the pharma giant’s generic drugs, produced at two plants in India. According to Inside Washington Publishers’ October 10, 2008 FDA Week, FDA sued Ranbaxy last summer, stating that the company was likely selling adulterated drugs in the U.S.

But FDA may have dropped the ball–some say, knowingly. FDA Week reports that FDA did not begin blocking Ranbaxy imports until September, even though the agency knew about the problems as early as 2005.

The Department of Justice is investigating claims that Ranbaxy produced HIV medication that contained insufficient active ingredients or was adulterated with other ingredients.