Skip to main content

Recently, Diane Rehm had a show about prescription drugs sold in the U.S. that are manufactured outside of the U.S.  Unknown to me (and probably many others) many of the prescription drugs that we take were actually manufactured outside of the United States.  According to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA:

Eighty percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in drugs taken here are actually manufactured in other countries and about 40 percent of the finished drugs are coming from other countries.
http://thedianerehmshow.org/...

Among the countries mentioned in the program as major suppliers are China and India.

The one positive thing that I heard on the show was that the FDA does have the power to inspect these plants in other countries and has in fact being doing so.  Unfortunately, it appears to me that the FDA does not have sufficient resources to deal with the problem.

According to Gardiner Harris, a reporter for The New York Times:  

[T]here are basically two issues here and Dr. Hamburg, as good as she is, can only address one of them. There is the safety issue which how safe are these drugs considering that we haven't been there. Some of these suppliers in China, frankly Dr. Hamburg's people have not gone into in 10 to 15 years. What she did not say to you was that she has not gotten anywhere close to visas out of the Chinese government that the FDA wants. The FDA's been asking for those additional visas for two years. The Chinese government has refused to give them to the FDA, or at least has not given them to the FDA.
http://thedianerehmshow.org/...

Without inspections, we cannot be sure of the safety of the drugs we are taking.  Another guest on the program, Allen Coukell of the Pew Charitable Trust, provided an example of where people were harmed because of these unsafe drugs:

And beginning a couple of years ago in the wake of a tragic contamination of a blood thinner called Heparin, we [Pew] became involved in the issue. And that was a case where the drug was coming from China. Someone in the upstream supply chain of that drug substituted something that was not the correct active ingredient but tested like the correct active ingredient. Made its way all the way into the drug and into the U.S. supply chain and made large number of patients quite sicknd that was pretty clearly a deliberate adulteration for economic reasons. So that was not just...

That was not just a case of a lapse in quality standards. That was somewhere somebody deliberately substituting a low-cost ingredient for economic gain.

http://thedianerehmshow.org/...

Also scary was this comment by Harris:

But a second and arguably just as important issue is the security issue. What she did not also say is that we're getting all of our antibiotics from China right now. We are getting all of our steroid medicine -- if you go down the list of medicines that are absolutely essential in hospital settings, and nearly all of them have their crucial ingredients coming from China, were we to get into a bad situation with China and some of these imports were to stop, our health care system would collapse fairly quickly. And no one is addressing this.  The last antibiotic plant in the United States was up in Syracuse, New York. It closed in 2004.
http://thedianerehmshow.org/...

The entire program is worth listening to (or reading the transcript).  You can listen to the program by selecting "listen" here:

http://thedianerehmshow.org/...

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Pat K California, Thumb, Alumbrados, Mimikatz, Sylv, easong, DeminNewJ, northsylvania, sny, dragonlady, grollen, misscee, Geenius at Wrok, Powered Grace, NYmom, Bob Love, genethefiend, mslat27, eeff, Pompatus, figdish, MarkInSanFran, bronte17, Babsnc, susans, afox, cskendrick, wonkydonkey, nyceve, susakinovember, whenwego, Ad Absurdum, highacidity, themank, Dburn, mkfarkus, rabel, farmerhunt, roses, retLT, PeteZerria, Chitown Charlie, fumie, ctsteve, splashy, Cedwyn, dylanfan, wader, k9disc, edrie, Getreal1246, emmasnacker, NYC Sophia, Miss Jones, pat bunny, MA Liberal, roseeriter, cosette, churchylafemme, NYFM, salinas, AmyCat, riverlover, 2dot, philipogog, zerelda, Hillbilly Dem, Deward Hastings, Steven D, jcrit, lyvwyr101, solesse413, Josiah Bartlett, xxdr zombiexx, sawgrass727, rapala, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, Farlfoto, NoMoreLies, UncleCharlie, OpherGopher, Militarytracy, elkhunter, Simplify, craigkg, basquebob, ChemBob, olddembroad, YucatanMan, madmommy, eru, bleeding blue, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, skyounkin, most peculiar mama, blue jersey mom, jane123, kaliope, brentut5, WisePiper, Rusty in PA, FindingMyVoice, Lisa Lockwood, snoopydawg, jilikins, Jim R, Jim P, Born in NOLA, BachFan, tommymet, myboo, Kingsmeg, tobendaro, cardboardurinal, tonyahky, Gorette, mooshter, KenBee, Shakludanto, kck, blueoasis, aloevera, StrayCat, Lashe, 4Freedom, alwaysquestion, real world chick, JVolvo, gabriella, MikMouse, hlsmlane, blue in NC, onionjim, BlueMississippi, ilyana, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, geekydee, Jbearlaw, frankzappatista, kurt, NancyWH, kurious, bstotts, AllanTBG, Pandoras Box, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, FlamingoGrrl, john07801, Cronesense, camlbacker, ksp, ColoTim, yoduuuh do or do not, Cofcos, Ticonderoga, terabytes, Ninepatch, newpioneer, NoMoJoe, buckshot face, mudslide, Librarianmom, fallina7, South Park Democrat, thewhitelist, JDWolverton, jwinIL14, MKinTN, revm3up, flowerfarmer, kimoconnor, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, Laughing Vergil, filby, Buckeye Nut Schell, Lujane, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, bluesheep, BYw, HarpboyAK, Louisiana 1976, MufsMom, cantelow, Carol in San Antonio, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, earicicle, shopkeeper, papahaha, Shelley99, sfarkash, Larsstephens, Lefty Ladig, The Jester, NJpeach, estreya, gramofsam1, Crabby Abbey, Polly Syllabic, appledown, JoanMar, cordgrass, pixxer, AJ in Camden, Yasuragi, Jaimas, morninmist, Betty Pinson, science nerd, nosleep4u, fiercefilms, MGross, Wisdumb, Onomastic, Barbara Marquardt, MidwestTreeHugger, ladywithafan, ozsea1, matercarol, pb3550, cv lurking gf, anyname, FarWestGirl, lexalou, smiley7, trumpeter, marleycat, Wolf10, Santa Susanna Kid, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, worldlotus, peregrine kate, StateOfGrace, Marihilda, blue muon, Vatexia, SteelerGrrl, Book of Hearts, blackjackal, SouthernLiberalinMD, nyer11Oak, friendjudy, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, BlueDragon, anodnhajo, David54, joanil, orangecurtainlib, Joieau, FloridaSNMOM, Yonkers Boy, Horace Boothroyd III, belinda ridgewood, readerwriter, lunachickie, wxorknot, avsp, Victim of Circumstance, GAladybug, Glen The Plumber, dotdash2u, George3, CalBearMom, doubledutch, Lily O Lady, Panacea Paola, eyo, bogieshadow, DustBunny, aresea, ORswede, BadKitties, blue91, duhban, River Rover, Rich Lyles, luerwulf, gnosticator, kkkkate, Skyye, ptressel, LiberalLoner, oldhippy48, Againststochasticterrorism, JourneyInside, bethann, Gaia light, kfunk937

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site