Ranbaxy Settlement Shows Need for Generic Drug Accountability

As if we needed another example of the need to hold generic drug makers accountable to the same standard as brand names, there is this disturbing story from The New York Times. A drug maker named Ranbaxy was churning out generic versions of a number of common drugs, including the epilepsy drug, gabapentin.  But in 2007, it admitted to the Food and Drug Administration that certain batches of the drug had tested positive for “unknown impurities.” 

Even worse, Ranbaxy didn’t tell the FDA for two months after they first discovered the problems.While you’re reading the Times’ story, remember that generic drug makers can’t be brought to court when they do wrong even though brand name drug makers can.  Given that 80% of the drugs on the market today are generic, it simply doesn’t make sense.  But thanks to a terrible Supreme Court decision that’s the way it is.  Generic drug companies win and consumers lose.

All of this means that victims injured by Ranbaxy’s contaminated drugs are not likely to see justice no matter how strong their case.