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3 NRI faces criminal proceedings in UK for price-fixing of generic drugs

London, April 04, 2005
Ashok Malhtra

NRI, (non-resident Indian) Anil Sharma, formerly of Ranbaxy (UK) Limited; Ajit Patel and Kirti Patel, both of Goldshield Group plc. and Norton Healthcare Limited; Luma Auchi, formerly of Regent-GM Laboratories Limited (now in liquidation); Michael Sparrow, formerly of Generics (UK) Limited would be charged, said The Serious Fraud Office

On Monday, Bow Street magistrates issued summonses to five companies - Kent Pharmaceuticals Limited; Norton Healthcare Limited; Generics (UK) Limited; Ranbaxy (UK) Limited and Goldshield Group plc (formerly Goldshield Pharmaceuticals (Europe) Limited).

The proceedings followed an investigation into alleged price-fixing and market- sharing by suppliers of generic drugs, specifically warfarin and penicillin-based antibiotics (amoxicillin, ampicillin, flucloxacillin, phenoxymethylpenicillin). The allegations concerned pricing and supply of warfarin, the branded drug Marevan and penicillin-based antibiotics between January 1996 and December 2000.

Assistant director Philip Lewis, the case controller said, "This important case involving an allegation of dishonest price-fixing by companies is likely to have a significant impact upon the business culture of this country." As April 2002, police raided six drug companies as part of a probe into an alleged multimillion-pound scam.

"Goldshield directors said that they did not act in a way that was unlawful or improper," it said. All firms involved have denied any wrongdoing


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