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Inside the Indian Generic Drug Manufacturer Cipla

Dusty roads like this one are typical in India.
But this road goes somewhere unexpected. It leads to a manufacturing center for Cipla,
one of India’s largest generic drugmakers. India supplies over 30% of the generic drugs
in the world. And Cipla itself produces one third of the
AIDS medications used in Africa. Plants like Cipla’s must comply with stringent
standards called current Good Manufacturing Practices.
Cipla is eager to show that its advanced pharmaceutical ingredient plant is in line with those standards.
But it takes some doing to get a camera inside. Everyone who enters must wear a lab coat.
They must cover their shoes, and their hair. They must also be mindful of safety.
Electronics could ignite volatile solvents. So Cipla uses this device, which measures
levels of solvents in the air. If levels are too high, cameras must be turned
off. Everything in the plant flows in a certain
way. That goes for the chemicals in the reaction
vessels, the water used in manufacturing, and even the employees.
They must enter and exit through specific doors.
They must record every change they make to big reactors like this one.
If someone opens a vessel, or changes a temperature, it gets written down. The plant that turns those compounds into
pills has additional regulations. A quarantine section holds materials that
the quality control team has yet to approve. Inside, Cipla keeps active ingredients in
blue barrels. They’re ready to be made into pills.
The coatings and inactive ingredients for finished doses are all stored separately.
Everything here is carefully tracked, down to the cardboard boxes.
If everything checks out, this plant combines the ingredients, packages the pills, and puts
them into boxes. These contain Atorlip, a generic for the cholesterol drug Lipitor.
These pills will be going out the door– and now, so will the camera.
But not before this gadget sucks away those shoe covers. There will be bumps in India’s road to becoming
the world’s drugstore. Other Indian drugmakers have had products
recalled or banned because of plant problems. India is also under pressure to make its patent
system more like those in Western countries. But India has found a market for low-cost
drugs. And no matter what happens in India, that
market’s not going away soon. Senior Correspondent Jean-François Tremblay
filmed and reported this story. For C&EN in Washington, I’m Carmen Drahl.


  1. satyaprakash seth
    satyaprakash seth April 14, 2017

    Confirmation about NOVA75mgfor which reason this medicine give to paitent

  2. Lakki sir
    Lakki sir July 18, 2017


  3. Philipp Unterholz
    Philipp Unterholz March 15, 2018

    This plant is old and outdated.

    BIG FACTS April 9, 2018

    Meanwhile in america the land of the slaves poor people are being taken for everything they have for meds that cost pennies on the dollar. Too bad the politicians sold their souls to the pharmaceutical lobbyists and allowing the people here to suffer.

  5. Nitesh Shaw
    Nitesh Shaw June 6, 2018


  6. Ataurrahman Pathan
    Ataurrahman Pathan June 20, 2018


  7. Abhishek Dev
    Abhishek Dev July 14, 2018

    Even cipla charges too much for generic medicines.

  8. Digital Ochre
    Digital Ochre July 21, 2018

    I would like to suggest your valuable visitors that there is a webinar conducting by WestPharma regarding Robust Extractables and Leachable Program for you Drug. Free register here:

  9. India live videos
    India live videos December 28, 2018

    job ke oper video banou

  10. Aaryan Gala
    Aaryan Gala January 6, 2019

    Can u make video on what is used in these medicines and why are they so cheap

  11. jay long
    jay long March 4, 2019

    C&en sounds too much like CNN not good

  12. DiscusLover
    DiscusLover May 4, 2019

    Fuck you USFDA you fucked all pharma industry. All indian plants are suffering because of usfda asshole

  13. James Quimby
    James Quimby August 7, 2019

    They should hose off since over 500 million people defecate in the open.

  14. Milson Galleto
    Milson Galleto August 16, 2019

    Please help.
    I’m interested in purchasing Cipla Triomune drugs. Where can i purchase them in bulk?

    Please provide contact information from suppliers.

    Thank you

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