The FDA has long maintained that generic drugs are every bit as good as their brand name counterparts. But in recent years the agency has had  to crack down on foreign generic drug manufacturers because of substandard quality control.

Just recently, the FDA banned drug imports from a Ranbaxy facility in Punjab. Ranbaxy is the largest drug maker in India and was one of the first firms to export generic medicines to the U.S. market. The consent decree puts the company in something of a bind, and could have implications for the US drug supply.

The Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, is in India this week to discuss quality control topics with her counterparts in the Indian Regulatory agency. She will also be attending the World Spice Congress meeting, presumably in part because contamination of spices such as turmeric imported from India has also been a concern in the US.

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  1. John

    It is interesting to me that brand name pharmaceuticals are the biggest contributors to TV watching couch potatoes. ( I remember wondering why in the world do drug manufacturers have to advertise to patients instead of Drs?) Now health Insurance providers are a big contributor. Brand name is so expensive because they have to advertise. Insurance providers make sure the generics never need to. They save so much they can afford to advertise there coverage. What a wicked circle! Remember that car manufactures to cereal manufacturers will but heads to compare performance and value, but you never hear that about brand name vs/ Generic!

  2. HDF

    Thanks for this. It is good to know that there is some concern about the generics and some of the spices you all cover. For those of us on the generics (mainly for the economy), it would be an interesting subject for a future program… especially the economics of the low co-pay vis-a-vis the reimbursement from the insurer to the pharmacy and the safety rating of the manufacturer.
    My druggist used to provide comment when a pill changed in the formulary. That does not seem to happen now. And if asked “why”, they do not seem to have a good answer.

  3. CSO

    I have been watching the news regarding the FDA recall of generics from a facility in Punjab, the Ranbaxy Co. I read that you have said this company is one of the biggest (and first) importers. I am wondering if their inspection process is faulty, what about other, smaller, companies? For a few years I have been taking a generic form of Entocort, Budesonide (or Budez CR). I can’t seem to find where it is manufactured but, as near as I can tell, it is imported from Delhi. Do you have any information on this company?

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