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Corruption in the Indian Generic Drug Industry (Guest: Dinesh Thakur)

August 7, 2019

Dinesh Thakur joins the show to discuss corruption and the use of falsified data in the Indian generic drug industry.

Dinesh Thakur was horrified back in the early 2000s to discover his employer, India-based Ranbaxy Laboratories, was falsifying data for pre-approval to provide its generic drugs to World Health Organization member countries. The U.S. was the largest buyer of these drugs. Thakur began to evaluate the corruption and found that his employer was skirting testing and regulatory rules. In some cases, the drugs were never tested at all before they went to market. The data was fabricated to show that they worked on patients.

Thakur spent years working with the FDA to bring his former company to justice, which occurred in 2013 with a guilty plea and an order to pay $500 million in fines, forfeitures, and penalties for fraud. Thakur has an idea on how to alert Americans to where drugs are made so they can make an informed choice about which generics they want to use.

Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.