Kolkata : Pharmaceutical giant Abbott Healthcare was slapped an alarming accusation by State Laboratory in West Bengal in November for its popular cough syrup ‘Phensedyl’. Accused of its formulation containing more than double the quantity of codeine, Abbott Healthcare, a unit of US based Abbott Laboratories, was ordered recall of suspected batch of 80,000 bottles of high selling Phensedyl market lot.
Taking cue from government’s recent backfoot episode of another MNC in food grade market (Maggi of Nestle), Abbott Healthcare has decided to challenge WB government’s accusation and decided to NOT recall its selling lot from market shelves. Abbott denied the allegations and urged regulators to not take any action. Abbott said that it found nothing unusual in its self testing samples and during third party testing of a retained sample from same batch of Phensedyl.
The company also asked regulators to give it more information about the source of suspect sample and the manner in which it was collected, so that it could establish whether it was genuine and if proper testing process was followed.
MNCs based in Indian soil are becoming wary of Indian regulatory regime in recent months and do question India’s position in legit analysis of market samples. Standing to face risk in consumer base, MNCs are aggressively challenging the ban and seeking court intervention.
Phensedyl sales are estimated to be more than 3 percent of Abbott’s $1 billion India revenue. The sales are dwarfed by Abbott’s global annual sales of over $20 billion, but, as the Nestle case shows, fallout from safety scandals has a domino effect and Abbott is is no mood to go the Maggi way of temporary ban.