- In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), researchers from the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) accused India of manufacturing and selling poor quality antibiotic and tuberculosis drugs in various parts of the world.
- India chafed at the accusation, characterizing the NBER’s report as biased and driven by a "hidden agenda."
- One of the most disturbing parts of the NBER report is the contention that India differentiates manufacturing practices depending on the final destination, leading to a preponderance of sub-standard drugs going to Africa.
India's response to the NBER and AEI came from the India Brand Equity Fund (IBEF) on behalf of the Indian government. The gist of the response is that the U.S. groups that compiled the research were attempting to discredit the Indian pharmaceutical industry. In addition, the IBEF contends that Indian manufacturing facilities face regular local and international audits and are monitored on an ongoing basis.
Nonetheless, AEI scholars assert that the report, which includes an assessment of 1,470 drugs sold between 2009 and 2012, was rigorously assembled. Moreover, the researchers acknowledge that, although some of the quality-related issues may be a function of transportation and storage issues, Indian pharmaceutical regulatory authorities are still responsible for the poor-quality drugs being shipped within India and abroad.