ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ranbaxy Was Never the Exception

Responding to some of the criticisms in Anant Phadke’s review of Katherine Eban’s Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma, “Indian Pharma Fraud and Beyond” (EPW, 18 January 2020), this author, who is the protagonist of the book, contends that the review downplays the importance of critical drug testing and is too forgiving of the transgressions of the Indian pharma industry.

The author was the whistleblower against Ranbaxy, which pled guilty to seven counts of criminal felony and paid $500 million in fines and penalties to the United States Department of Justice.
The author thanks Advocate Prashant Reddy T for his assistance with this article.


In the past year, since the publication of Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma authored by Katherine Eban (2019), the spotlight has returned to the many failings of the generic pharmaceutical industry in India. Predictably, the book has been met with denials from the Indian pharmaceutical industry. The Indian drug regulator has claimed that the book contains “fiction-filled stories of the Indian pharma industry” (Porecha 2020). While this pushback from the industry and the government is predictable, the criticism of the book from public health activists such as Anant Phadke in his review titled ­“Indian Pharma Fraud and Beyond,” for Economic & Political Weekly, is most surprising (EPW, 18 January 2020). While I am grateful to Phadke for recognising my role in exposing the wrongdoings at Ranbaxy (the government has been less than welcoming of my activism), he has been far too critical of Eban’s book and much too forgiving of the transgressions of the pharmaceutical industry in India.

I would like to counter some of his criticisms.

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Updated On : 14th Feb, 2020
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