Over 80 percent of the prescription medications that Americans now buy from pharmacies are generic rather than brand name. The majority of the ingredients in those pills come from abroad. India and China are the two countries that dominate the supply chain in the generic pharmaceutical marketplace.

Ranbaxy is India’s largest drug manufacturer. The Food and Drug Administration has been looking into potential violations of the rules at Ranbaxy’s Indian facilities. A number of the firm’s manufacturing plants had already been barred from exporting drugs to the U.S. because of fraud, forgery and a failure to follow good manufacturing processes.

Now the FDA is reviewing problems at a Ranbaxy plant in Punjab, which sends ingredients to the company’s U.S. manufacturing facility in New Jersey. If the FDA issues an import alert for the remaining Ranbaxy plants in India, it might have an impact on generic drug availability in the U.S. 

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  1. James

    The Phamas from India and China in the generic drug business have began undermining the USA drug manufactures. Making it financially impossible for the USA to compete with these foreign countries highly discounted generics. From 2008 to 2013 several of the largest Phama’s in India have been inspected by the FDA and they found huge problems.

    I take Metformin and lately you can’t find a pharmacy that carries anything in the generic Metformin that is not made overseas. That’s a problem for me. Many of the generic Metformin sold here in the USA are inferior and can cause other complications such as stomach issues.

    Do your homework, look and ask where it was made? If you’ve had problems like I had with overseas Phamra, don’t accept it and seek a pharmacy that buys from manufactures in the USA.

  2. robert

    All Ranbaxy drugs are now banned in Holland.

  3. Betty

    I have had to stop ordering some drugs from my insurance company mail-order pharmacy because of low quality foreign manufacture. Particularly, I received a generic of DuoNeb, which I use in my nebulizer, that was difficult to open and empty the vial. Then, it was much less effective than the real drug. I now insist that any prescriptions I have filled locally be manufactured in the U.S.

  4. VFC

    I know we are not the only ones who have difficulties with Express Scripts, especially since they merged with Medco. We try generics but all generics are not the same & Express Scripts really pushes the Lipitor from Ranbaxy. There is no way to communicate with an actual pharmacist there & they feel no compunction about just canceling your RX. We have found that by talking with our local pharmacist there are some different brands of generics that we can take without side effects. Keep talking with your pharmacist because they know things to help improve your experience with prescriptions that most doctors don’t- it’s their job.

  5. Al

    Good! It’s about time the FDA starts putting Americans first.

  6. Helen M

    I remember when drugs from Canadian pharmacies were made available thru the magic of the internet; I bought celexa that way, the price being less than my co-pay. And the outrage on the part of the pharmaceuticals and the FDA – “you don’t know what you are getting, unregulated, could be poison, etc, etc”, until they decided to offshore our drugs and increase their profits by huge amounts. And kill American manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.
    I take lyrica and pay around $400 twice a year, because it is a brand name drug not covered in the donut hole. The manufacturer recently won a stay thru the courts, prohibiting the generic until 2019. Israel was poised to enter the American market with the generic and I definitely would trust Israeli manufacturing well over China and India.
    Recent internet research led me to a Canadian pharmacy where I can get the generic for about half the amount of my donut hole price. Until then, I have to use a mail order to get a $90 price for 90 days. This medication cost me over $1000 last year, just about one month of my SS. Additionally, if free enterprise was allowed, there would be competition in the generic market and prices would come down.
    These golden years are a killer!

  7. MimiB

    All I know is my husband, who must take thyroid supplement following successful cancer surgery some years ago, found that the generic he initially took was ineffective. Synthroid, while more expensive, works whereas the generic didn’t keep his hormone level even. His endocrinologist says that over the past couple of years she’s noticed the same thing in other patients and does not prescribe the generic because of problems and inconsistencies.
    This is not to say all generics are problematical. But how are we, the consuming patients, supposed to judge on our own which are effective and safe and which are not? Even physicians can only observe over time.
    At the very least, all generics sold in the USA should be randomly tested, in US labs. All factories that manufacture drugs abroad for sale in the USA should also be visited and inspected periodically, and without advance warning.

  8. EL

    I agree with Emma K. Bright. Although I have not had any perceptible problems with most of the prescribed generic drugs I take, I have had problems with metformin and repeatedly have reported them to Express Scripts. Express Scripts has not responded to any of them. I had my physician prescribe Glucophage, but I could not afford to continue to pay the copay penalty for ordering a brand name when a generic is available – more than double the regular copay of $87.50 if a generic is not available. Glucophage is completely odorless.
    Metformin from India has a foul odor, faint but similar to that of rotting meat. Why? It made me gag the first time I opened a bottle of it. The odor does dissipate if the bottle is left open for a few days after the lid is removed, which is how I cope with the odor problem. My glucose levels tested lower when I was taking Glucophage, but not by a dramatic difference. Why must Americans be forced to take generic drugs that do not conform to FDA regulations?

  9. A.C.

    I have been getting generic Celebrex from India at a fraction of what it would cost me here. Generic is not available in the US yet. My insurance classifies it as a “lifestyle drug”! Ridiculous! It eases my arthritis pain. I call that quality of life, not lifestyle! It would cost me $250 for a 3 month supply vs. about $80 for the generic!

  10. Emma K. B.

    I do not feel like insurance companies should be able to mandate that either you accept the generic medication or none at all. I personally have had numerous problems with efficacy from most generic medications.
    Some doctors will tell you there is no difference between generic and name brand… well I strongly beg to differ! There are differences between “the same” generic med. manufactured by different companies even! Any pharmaceuticals that we as Americans should be subjected to should be manufactured completely here in the USA under the strict regulation of the FDA.
    Pharmaceuticals are one of the areas that the old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies and our health should not be sacrificed for the sake of profit! Americans need to open their eyes and protest about this and a lot of other atrocities before it is too late.

  11. paul43

    And we are supposed to heal taking this junk?

  12. Noah V.

    Rather the impact on generic drug availability than bad drugs readily available.
    But given the FDA’s track record can they be trusted either or at all?
    We Americans may just be getting too darn many drugs prescribed so this “pharmacological niche” has grown too large, inviting abuse for profit.

  13. tutorjb1JB

    How many other companies supply ingredients for generic drugs in India beside Ranbaxy? How about throughout the world? Medicaid and many other insurers will only pay for generic drugs.
    If the FDA closes Ranbaxy, are other companies ready to fill the void? Has the FDA put forth any proposals? I don’t want to consume suspect drugs, but I’ve got to get them someplace. One of my generic prescriptions costs $232. I hate to think what the name-brand version costs.
    Are U.S. companies not allowed to make generic drugs or their components!?

  14. Nan

    With all the people out of work, why can’t generic drugs be manufactured in the USA?

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