(MENAFN - AFP) Shares in Indian drug giant Ranbaxy fell as much as four percent on Monday following news of a second recall of its cholesterol-busting generic drug.
It was the latest blow for the New Delhi-based drugmaker, majority-owned by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo, that is already reeling from a string of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) import bans involving manufacturing safety worries."The actual (second) recall happened in January this year," a Ranbaxy Laboratories spokesman, who did not wish to be named, told AFP.The company's stock fell as much as four percent to 356.00 rupees before retracing to trade down 2.59 percent at 360.50 rupees.The latest recall involves nearly 65,000 bottles of Indian-made 10-milligram atorvastatin calcium tablets that expire in May.The Ranbaxy drug is the generic version of global pharmaceutical company Pfizer's blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor. Ranbaxy ordered the recall after a US pharamacist reported finding a 20 milligram tablet in a bottle of 10-milligram tablets. Ranbaxy said in a statement emailed to AFP that it had received no other dosage complaints and the recall was made "proactively" out of "an abundance of caution"."Because of a remote possibility of the presence of a 20-milligram atorvastatin calcium tablet in a 10 milligram bottle, this is the basis of the voluntary recall," it said.Ranbaxy recalled some of its generic atorvastatin cholesterol drug in November 2012 over suspected contamination with sand-sized glass particles.The FDA has already banned Ranbaxy from sending drugs and ingredients to the United States, its biggest market, from four of its plants for failing to meet "good manufacturing practices".The FDA labelled Ranbaxy's latest action, conducted at the US retail level, a Class II recall, which means the product could result in "temporary" health problems."Although the latest issue looks like a packaging mix-up, it hurts sentiment. Ranbaxy seems still unable to get its act together," a Mumbai analyst, who asked not to be identified, told AFP. Daiichi bought Ranbaxy in 2008, believing its dominance in generic medicines and developing markets would help the Japanese firm boost sales.But Ranbaxy has been a weight on Daiichi's books due to its regulatory woes and the Indian firm's shares are trading at less than half the 737 rupees the Japanese company paid.