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WHO removes three Indian drugs from preferred list

WHO removes three Indian drugs from preferred list

The World Health Organization removed from its approved HIV drug list three generics made by the Indian firm Ranbaxy due to concerns about their bioequivalency, the agency said in a statement Wednesday. Drugs affected are two containing combinations of Viramune, Epivir, and Zerit, and another containing Epivir and Retrovir. "This effectively means that the medicines may or may not offer the same therapeutic benefits as the originals on which they are based," WHO explained. The drugs will be kept off the list until Ranbaxy can submit evidence of new tests proving the drugs are biologically equivalent to the original medicines, said WHO. Ranbaxy will resubmit the drugs to a different laboratory, WHO said. "If and when those products and the laboratories are found to meet the specified requirements, WHO will reinstate them in its list of prequalified products." In June, WHO removed two generic drugs made by India-based Cipla, also because of bioequivalency concerns. WHO is still waiting for Cipla to submit documentation from a new laboratory proving its generics are the same as patented versions. (AP)

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