Take two aspirin and call the undertaker in the morning

 

Homeopathic medicines could do no worse

Homeopathic medicines could do no worse

NYT is out with a (very) alarming article on the lack of quality control in Indian drug manufacturing plants, including the fact that 25% of all drugs shipped from there are counterfeit, with no active ingredients. That’s bad enough, but as Glenn Reynolds points out, they buried the lede:

American businesses and F.D.A. officials are just as concerned about the quality of drugs coming out of China, but the F.D.A.’s efforts to increase inspections there have so far been frustrated by the Chinese government.

“China is the source of some of the largest counterfeit manufacturing operations that we find globally,” said John P. Clark, Pfizer’s chief security officer, who added that Chinese authorities were cooperative.

Using its new revenues, the F.D.A. tried to bolster its staff in China in February 2012. But the Chinese government has so far failed to provide the necessary visas despite an announced agreement in December 2013 during a visit by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said Erica Jefferson, an F.D.A. spokeswoman.

The United States has become so dependent on Chinese imports, however, that the F.D.A. may not be able to do much about the Chinese refusal. The crucial ingredients for nearly all antibiotics, steroids and many other lifesaving drugs are now made exclusively in China.

The article states that 25% of the cost of manufacturing drugs in America can be attributed to the requirements of inspections. That makes it easy to understand why drug companies in India and China avoid them, but I’m a limited-government, not a no-government, pure libertarian, and I’d rather not trust the free market to provide quality control in this instance – I’d be dead before market forces corrected the situation.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Take two aspirin and call the undertaker in the morning

  1. towny

    Have you read recently that run of the mill diseases have become resistant to antibiotics?

    That the hospitalization of asthmatics is on the rise. I wonder if the efficacy of chinese made steroidal inhalants have any thing to do with it.

    Ahhh the hell with it. As long as Wall St is happy, who gives a shit.

    • Between parents insisting on unnecessary anti-biotic prescriptions for their children, ignorant people not finishing their prescriptions and thereby letting bacteria live, farmers dosing everything that breathes with same, and god know what’s being flushed into our drinking water from farm runoff, resistance is a huge, huge problem.

  2. Anonymous

    We should have location of manufacturing on all pharmaceutical and food products. I can’t stand buying a food product that says “distributed by” without any origin of the product.