Book Review: The secrets that Indian pharmas harbour

Welcome to a world where cancer patients are sold contaminated chemotherapy drugs, where cholesterol medication has shards of glass in it and a blood-pressure pill contains a live bug. This is no nightmare. This is the ugly truth of Indian pharma.” This is printed on the back cover of the book in large font in red colour.

The cover of the book says Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma. After reading the book one will wonder why the book was not named Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of US Pharma Patent.

The author has portrayed the ugly side of both Ranbaxy and US Pharma Patent system, but has cleverly used Ranbaxy as a symbol to show the whole of Indian pharma as villain while not giving space to corrupt US pharma patent system and related individuals of USA any prominent coverage on the cover of the book.

Bottle of Lies, is an extremely well written book, it uncovers the some shameful practices of Indian pharma industry and the institutions and individuals associated with it. It is very well researched book and the author Katherine Eban has done her research with finesse.

She interviewed over 240 people in a study spread over 2014 to 2018, across continents. Author has given sufficient examples of wrong doings of Indian pharma companies which forces one to believe in her nomenclature, that is, “The dark Side of Indian Pharma”.

The author has named several companies and none of them have objected to the book, to the best of my knowledge. Not only those who are connected or interested in the Indian pharma industry should read the book but also every consumer of Indian pharma should read this book. It is an eye opener and Indians must thank the author for writing this book. We, the Indians need to introspect how we conduct our business.

The book gives evidence as to how generic drugs instead of saving patients are actually killing them. Examples are bone chilling. Indian pharma industry and related institutions including government needs to do some serious rethinking on how our pharma industry works.

If Indian government wants to promote ‘Make in India’ and aim for a five trillion economy then they need to read the book at the earliest and take corrective measures.

The author covers the dirty practice in pharma companies in other countries as well, like, Louisiana. But the target of the book is mainly Ranbaxy. Book has a glossary and extensive notes section which is extremely helpful. Language is simple and narrative is engaging. It is a thriller.

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