Shares in Indian pharmaceutical giant Wockhardt plunged on Friday after the United States’ food and drugs regulator banned imports from one of its plants in India.

The US Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert on Wednesday, saying it had sufficient evidence to believe the quality of drugs produced at Wockhardt’s plant in Aurangabad in Maharashtra state had been compromised.

Wockhardt stocks at the Bombay Stock Exchange dipped 18 per cent on opening trade on Friday, recovering by midday to about 10 per cent down on Thursday’s close.

Wockhardt chairman Habil Khokariwala said at a press briefing in Mumbai that the ban could affect sales worth 100 million dollars.

“We are taking steps to address the US import ban,” Mr Khokariwala said.

Part of the production at the plant may be shifted to other Wockhardt facilities in India.

Wockhardt also operates in the US and Europe, and posted an operating profit of 283 million dollars in the financial year 2011-2012. Nearly 80 per cent of its revenue comes from its international business.

The alert on Wockhardt is another blow to India’s growing generic drug industry. Earlier in May, Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and adulteration, and agreed 500-million-dollar settlement with the US government.

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