Home»Money»Special» Ranbaxy Case: How Dinesh Thakur Exposed The Colossal Fraud

One honest man was all it took to expose Ranbaxy's colossal fraud

  • Dailybhaskar.com
  • May 25, 2013, 11:55 AM IST
One honest man was all it took to expose Ranbaxy's colossal fraud
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New Delhi: On his just-concluded visit to India, Chinese premier Li Kiquiang admitted that while bilateral trade between India and China is deeply skewed in their favour, there are three key industries where India enjoys a significant advantage over them. One is software, another, agriculture.
 
The third, he said, was pharmaceuticals. And it is the image of this industry that has been dealt a blow, all due to a series of steps in the wrong direction by one of its biggest names-- Ranbaxy.
 
Last week, pleading guilty to 'felony charges' relating to manufacture and distribution of certain adulterated drugs made at two India units, the US subsidiary of Ranbaxy had agreed to pay $500 million in settlement with the US authorities.
 
The unraveling of the sordid saga began when one honest employee of the company stumbled across a crucial piece of incriminating evidence, and another decided to pursue the matter to the end.
 
It was in 2004 that Dr Rajinder Kumar called his subordinate Dinesh Thakur-- then director of project and information management at Ranbaxy-- for an early morning meeting at their Gurgaon office to share with him details in a WHO report about Ranbaxy's medicines.

The report carried the result of an inspection that WHO had done at Vimta Laboratories, an Indian company that Ranbaxy had hired to administer clinical tests of its AIDS medicine. 
 
The inspection had focused on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that Ranbaxy was selling to the South African government. At the end of the inspection, it seemed as if the Vimta tests had been fabricated. 
 
"Test results from separate patients, which normally would have differed from one another, were identical, as if xeroxed," reports a blog by the Fortune magazine.
 
But this was just the tip of the iceberg. Upon further investigation, Thakur realized the problem was not limited to Ranbaxy's ARV medication alone-- the malaise ran much deeper and across many medicines manufactured by the company.

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    One honest man was all it took to expose Ranbaxy's colossal fraud
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    One honest man was all it took to expose Ranbaxy's colossal fraud

"Thakur's confidential whistleblower complaint, which he filed in 2007 and which describes how the company fabricated and falsified data to win FDA approvals, was also unsealed. Under federal whistleblower law, Thakur receives more than $48 million as part of the resolution of the case," the Fortune report adds.

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