India's drug regulators are ensnared in a scandalous fix. Days after a parliamentary report noted shoddy oversight of approvals, the Indian government has mounted an investigation into the alleged misdeeds. Meanwhile, big names in biopharma have surfaced in the sea of allegations.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, India's ministry said Friday it has created a special group to probe the long list of grievances in the report, with an eye toward repairing the infrastructure in place for approving drugs in the country. If the allegations in the parliamentary review are true, the Indian government believes that laws were broken and drugs arrived in pharmacies without undergoing required clinical studies.
Drugs from several of the largest drug companies--including Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Novartis ($NVS) and Sanofi ($SNY)--were listed among those that were approved without standard clinical evaluation. Many of the drug manufacturers have professed their innocence after the report cited alleged collusion between pharma groups and India's drug regulator, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.