Wockhardt to Lose $17 Million in Sales as India Bans Painkiller

Wockhardt Ltd. (WPL), an Indian maker of insulin and hepatitis vaccines, will lose about 4 percent of its revenue after the nation banned sales of a painkiller.

Mumbai-based Wockhardt in the 12 months to April earned 970 million rupees ($16.7 million) from sales of Proxyvon, the brand under which it sold formulations of the painkiller dextropropoxyphene, according to data from AIOCD AWACS, a market research firm. Wockhardt had 91 percent of the Indian market for the drug, data show.

India last month halted sales of formulations containing the opioid pain reliever banned in Europe in 2009 and the U.S. in 2010 after data showed that the drug causes toxicity to the heart. The latest ban follows restrictions on exports of drugs to the U.S. from one of Wockhardt’s plants.

Wockhardt’s shares have fallen 34 percent this year, making it the second-worst performing stock in the S&P BSE India Healthcare Index. The stock rose 0.6 percent to 1,041.65 rupees in Mumbai. The company’s local unit reported sales of 24.7 billion rupees in the 12 months to March.

Daryl Suchita, a spokesman for Wockhardt, didn’t immediately comment on the ban when contacted at his office.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month placed import restrictions on the company’s Waluj facility in Aurangabad because the section that makes injectable drugs didn’t meet its current good manufacturing practices.

Wockhardt will lose about $100 million in revenue as a result of the import alert in the year ending March 2014, Chairman Habil Khorakiwala said in a call with analysts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ketaki Gokhale in Mumbai at kgokhale@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at j.gale@bloomberg.net

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