U.K. initiates fraud case against Ranbaxy

By agencies   |   Thursday, 06 April 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: IndiaÂ’s largest drug maker has been accused of price fixing in some penicillin-based antibiotics and the Serious Fraud Office in the U.K. said it would bring criminal charges against Ranbaxy.

Ranbaxy, along with four other companies is alleged to have conspired to raise the prices of some penicillin-based antibiotics including Amoxicillin and Ranitidine significantly between 1996 and 2000, thereby causing huge losses to the public funded National Health Service of U.K.. The UKÂ’s SFO has been investigating the allegations since Â’02.

In a statement, Ranbaxy said that its U.K. subsidiary is not aware of the substance of the allegations against it or the evidence upon which they are based and therefore cannot comment. The company also said it was not aware of any wrongdoing.

“Ranbaxy is a responsible company committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance and best practices,” it said, adding that the current operations of its U.K. subsidiary remain unaffected by these developments.

Though the exact implications of the criminal charges being brought on Ranbaxy and other companies could not be known, industry analysts said if indicted, some senior executives of these companies who were at the helm of affairs then, could face jail terms. Also, the authorities can slap fines on these companies.

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