Skip to main content

Diane Rehm's story this morning gave me a jolt.  80% of the drugs we are taking in the USA are coming from China and India and some of them are being pulled because of this: Cipro is the one I remember from hearing just part of this program this morning.

What happens if we get into a dispute with China or India?  What happens if transportation is disrupted by natural disaster or some other emergency?

It is insane to leave our nation vulnerable in this way.  We have zillions of dollars invested in the military and national security state, but we can't produce antibiotics and other life saving drugs here?

This is terribly frightening.


This reality

62%43 votes
4%3 votes
21%15 votes
5%4 votes
4%3 votes

| 69 votes | Vote | Results

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

  •  Important story. Needs better write up here. (15+ / 0-)

    If you did the work to research the background information and put a story together people would be interested. This very short write up doesn't do the story justice.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:19:57 PM PST

  •  I heard about a march on DC (7+ / 0-)

    sometime in September to address the pharmaceutical problems.  Too many people are dying already- many from addictions to pain killers and 'meth making' drugs.

    I did not know that our drugs come from China.  This is not good.  At all.

    I've always been upset about the commercials- and the list of side effects, and I was toying with the idea of going.

    After learning about this- i think I will.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:48:46 PM PST

  •  Of course we could produce drugs here; (8+ / 0-)

    but as with computers and auto parts, it is cheaper for our Galtian Corporate Overlords to produce critical medicines using rock-bottom third world labor in filthy factories with no environmental regulation or enforcement, thereby permitting them to give the CEO an even fatter bonus.

    Mission Accomplished!

  •  It is worse than you think. (9+ / 0-)

    Regulatory corruption and caveat emptor societies like India and China put Americans who buy their pharmaceuticals at risk.

    After deliberately adulterated heparin entered the US, the FDA was told "We have no interest in regulating pharmaceuticals for export" by their Chinese counterparts.  In fact, coming out in the Heparin investigation it was found that in China potemkin facilities are set up to gain FDA approval and then manufacturing is moved to unapproved facilities.  In medical device manufacturing the process capability looks odd because they test quality into their output rather than ensuring the quality of the process.  Of course, there are a lot of sub-specification devices that then get to the user- and that includes issues with sterilization processes that are inadequately validated.  Gaming the system and gaming the quality of drugs is part of Chinese society.

    Gaming and shortcuts is as endemic in India.  Manufacturers like Ranbaxy falsify test results of their products on a systemic basis and do so once there is no regulatory pressure.  Common issues that speak to dangerously lax production are failures in batch-to-batch cleaning, line clearance, and fundamental defects in aseptic manufacturing.  When regulatory attention is not paid to facilities in India, manufacturers circumvent drug quality in a wal-mart like drive to keep costs down.

    A lot of pharma manufacturing is not rocket science, merely severe attention to manufacturing quality.  Chinese and Indian manufacturing are incapable of that.

  •  Some drugs, some drug ingredients (5+ / 0-)

    As stated, many drugs, especially the generics are imported from places where you wouldn't eat in most restaurants.

    In addition, those countries are a major source for the ingredients used for many drugs made in the U.S. or other developed nations.

    A real, here & now problem.

  •  There is more to the story on safety of drugs (4+ / 0-)

    Most of the drugs are tested in other countries, such as India.   Many of the test subjects are paid and will participate in multiple studies to make more money, and lie about it, so the results are skewed.   Studies which do not demonstrate that the drug is effective, or which reveal flaws in the drug, are suppressed by the drug companies.  Only "successful" studies are ever published.    So, studies calling into question the safety of a drug may never see the light of day.   And, the FDA operates on money it receives from pharmaceutical companies related to the approval process of drugs, and is therefore biased in favor of making sure it receives more money for its own budget.    

    •  Not only that but most of the FDA employees... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, crose, BlueDragon

      moonlight directly for these pharmaceutical companies with the government having full knowledge of this.  

      There is a huge conflict of intrest throughout the FDA and no one is talking about it.

      Four major improvements would fix 95% of the problems with pharmaceuticals in this country:

      1.) Create a medical peer reviewed list of "Best" treatments to bench mark off of.

      2.) Require all new drug patent applicants to double blind test with the best existing treatment rather than a sugar pill.

      3.) Allow all government drug purchases to join together to negotiate the best drug prices for everyone,

      4.) Increase staffing (and eliminate moonlighting) at the FDA to allow sample testing on every recieved shipment over a certain quantity intended for distribution of all drugs including currently unregulated supplements.  If the drugs are tainted in anyway, instead of a fine, you risk losing your patent.  If it occurs frequently on multiple products, you may lose all patents and the companies ability to gain another patent.

      I know it will never happen but it would really be awesome if it could.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:37:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It used to be Puerto Rico. Mature technology (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, BlueDragon

    will be shunted by the owners of the technology to the lowest net landed cost venue having sufficient infrastructure. That is the miracle of predatory capitalism.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:24:21 PM PST

  •  I have no way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to prove it, but I think last month's prescriptions were either lacking in any medication at all or contained very little of the active ingredients. I take meds for major depression and, as anyone with experience with anti-depressants will tell you, one of the side-effects of weaning off of one med to start another is the so-called "jello- head." For me jello-head is the main indicator of a reduced dose of medication. The last prescription I had filled before the most recent one was ineffective. My mood darkened and jello-head came on way before the end of the day. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if long-term anti-depressant medications fail partially because they are not as potent as they are supposed to be. I am going to bring it up with my doc next week and see what she says, not that she can do anything about it.

    The need for medications to be produced in facilities that aren't corrupt is essential. Just another thing to fight for along with everything else.

  •  Yes, every medication should be (0+ / 0-)

    made here in the USA like those steroids in Mass.

    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

    by samddobermann on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:32:19 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site