Wockhardt shares drop as drug company is slapped with new export ban from UK regulator

Wockhardt shares slid five per cent today after the UK's medicines regulator withdrew its approval for one of the company's key facilities.

The Indian drug-maker's Chikalthana plant, which makes a generic version of the high blood pressure drug Toprol, may be in violation of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, who have revoked its good manufacturing practice certificate.

The plant, which was vital for the company's estimated 2015 EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), has been issued a restricted certificate, meaning it's only able to supply "critical" products when there are no feasible alternatives. It contributes £12m from the UK and EU markets to the consolidated annual revenues of the company, Wockhardt said in a filing to BSE.

This is another set-back for Wockhardt. In July of this year, the UK regulator put an alert on its plant at Waluj in Maharashtra and issued a precautionary recall for 16 medicines made at the facility. This followed a US authority ban in May on drug shipments from the same facility which the company said could lose it at least $100m (£62.6m) in revenue.

Scrutiny of India's pharmaceutical industry resulted in a record $500m (£327m) fine for Wockhardt's competitor Ranbaxy Laboratories in May of this year.