The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1131: Was Your Medicine Made in China?

In the last 20 years, pharmaceutical manufacturing has shifted to other countries from the US. Find out what difference it could make if your medicine was made in China.
Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx
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Was Your Medicine Made in China?

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Do you know where your medicines come from? It can actually be something of a challenge to find out, because unlike shirts or apples, drugs do not have to be labeled with country of origin. As it turns out, over the past two decades, the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has followed the same route as many other industries. Now, experts estimate that about four-fifths of the medications we take were made in China or India.

A high proportion of these are generic drugs that the FDA has approved as equivalent to the brand name product. But how good is the quality control? FDA has limited ability and personnel to inspect manufacturing facilities in China.

Valsartan Made in China:

A recent recall underscores the potential hazards. On July 5, 2018, the European Medicines Agency recalled the blood pressure pill valsartan made by the Zhejiang HuaHai Pharmaceutical Company in Linhai, China. Apparently the pills had been contaminated with a probable human carcinogen, NDMA. A week later, on July 13, 2018, the FDA followed suit and recalled valsartan alone or in combination with hydrochlorothiazide from Major Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Does It Matter If Your Pills Were Made in China?

If Chinese companies suddenly stopped providing active pharmaceutical ingredients or finished pharmaceutical products to the US, the health care system would be in trouble within a short time. So many of our medicines are made in China that critical drug shortages would endanger lives.

Our guest describes how the business of making drugs for the US market has changed and what the implications are. What, if anything, should we health care consumers do to protect ourselves?

This Week’s Guest:

Rosemary Gibson is a senior advisor at the Hastings Center, a Health Care Ethics research institute, and is the author of numerous books investigating healthcare issues. Most recently she co-authored China RX: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, with Janardan Prasad Singh. Their book documents what has led to China’s increasing dominance in the manufacturing of medicine and the far-reaching consequences of this.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I have fild a complaint to the FDA. I did some reading to learn more about the Solco distributed bupropion.,which the pharmacy randomly changed me to. I didn’t know of the change until about half way through the refill /month. I know for a fact it was not a placebo effect. All my symptoms the bupropion had been helping suddenly came back. I learned it is manufacturered in China by a company called Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

I came across TWO separate warning letters that this manufacturer has received from the FDA. If you have the time, please scan through the letters.
I am just flabbergasted that the FDA has allowed this to continue.

Things like faking test data records by copying the same over and over so as not to have to record and test new data – that’s just a snippet vague example of what they were caught doing.

Even if you haven’t taken this particular generic , it is still very much worth the read as it directly correlates to bupropion generic issues Eye-opening and infuriating

First it was our pet food that was contaminated, then it was baby formula, and now our needed prescription drugs. The Chinese are not our friends in these actions, seemingly trying to kill us off one way or the other! Since drugs come from all over, not just the USA, it’s risky to be sick and needing prescription drugs at all. The “cure” may be worse than the sickness or condition!

Greetings. Unfortunately, it seems no one cares. I have written to Congress, major pharmacies and my insurance carrier, but gotten basically no response. “Thanks for your comments.” I was prescribed a replacement drug for the tainted valsartan I took for three years called Irbesartan. I now know to ask for the bottle to see the manufacturer. Guess what, at three major pharmacies I visited the week of 10/26/18, they all were selling the generic made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals (through Solco Healthcare in New Jersey as Distributor). I was floored. How could they be selling drugs made by this manufacturer after it caused the worldwide valsartan disaster? After the horrific FDA inspection of the Zhejiang facility in China
(you can find that here:https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/CDERFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/UCM621162.pdf )

What’s even worse, and more shameful, is that on September 28, 2018, the FDA announced that it was blocking imports to the US from Zhejiang Huahai Pharma and yet the three major chains I visited to get my generic irbesartan filled were selling the version distributed by Solco and made by Zhejiang Huahai. Shamelessly. One of the pharmacy techs told me, “It’s made in Cranbury, New Jersey.” I knew better – I said, let me see the bottle – and I pointed out that that New Jersey was the location of the distributor which is owned by Zhejiang Huahai in China which makes the drug. You can read about the import ban here: https://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20180928/fda-bans-import-of-meds-from-chinese-firm

The european regulators also slammed them: https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/eu-regulators-blast-china-s-zhejiang-huahai-over-valsartan-api-mess

People, I’m so disheartened. I took the tainted valsartan for 3 years. I thought the major US pharmacies cared about their customers. Nope, it’s about the money. They’re getting this Chinese garbage cheap. Further, my insurance company only permits me to use those pharmacies for reimbursement. Well, I’m paying out of pocket to go to CVS, which DOES NOT carry the Zhejiang Chinese made irbesartan. So in today’s world, I pay for insurance that sends me to pharmacies that carry medicines from known and blocked companies, only to pay out of pocket for a drug that isn’t made in China by this horrible company. Further, these other three major pharmacy chains have been sent letters by me about this. I await their responses, but I won’t hold my breath. My hope is that they pull the remaining garbage from this Chinese company off their shelves, even though they technically can sell their remaining supplies following the ban. I mean, who would buy that if they knew?

People, you must look out for yourself. ASK THE PHARMACIST WHERE YOUR MEDICATION IS MADE. ASK TO SEE THE BOTTLE and look for the manufacturer. Don’t rely on them to tell you. The only way this will stop is if people quit buying these garbage generics.

You’re absolutely correct! Received a letter and text from my medication that Losartan has been found with risks of developing cancer has been recalled as of 1-6-2019!

This is a horrible situation. We are not safe taking medications from China. In September I was awakened by a swollen tongue at 3AM. Took a Benadryl but no success. My husband took me to the ER where the swelling became worse and proceeded to do a tracheotomy. Was transferred to a trauma center where they fractured my trachea and vocal cords trying to intubate me. I was transferred to Stanford Hospital on a ventilator with now a punctured lung. I was in a coma for 9 days. I have researched Lisinopril and they have several law suits against them. I am positive it was made in China. I had been on Lisinopril for 17 years but the RX was a different color this time. Something has to be done. Not only is this fatal is it also a huge cost ie ambulance, ER, critical care etc.

I’ve read that angioedema is a serious somewhat rare side effect of Lisinopril and other ACE inhibitors. I don’t think it is caused by a contaminant but rather by the drug itself. It is written up in medical literature. So your problem was most likely caused by the drug regardless of what brand you used.

The only way to solve this problem is to unite and demand our congress , whom we elected, especially the very vocal leaders take it on. I believe we all should have clear and concise access to all political donations made to those whom we elected to serve US before themselves.

PS: My two drugs have increased exponentially in the last four years, and they are both generics, and made in China.

This is a just one example of money trumping everything else.

The host asks why isn’t the public more angry about this problem. The majority of people are unaware of the story. If this issue was front page and lead story not only on the news but also on shows like Dateline, 20/20 and morning chat fests, we’d have far more people incensed and demanding action. Unfortunately, there are interests out here who prefer to keep this topic out of the eyes and ears of the public. It will take a big effort from people who do know the story to inform others including their elected politicians and demand action be taken to make drugs safe. The best way to do that is to revive drug manufacturing industry in the US. Even with country of origin labeling, if there is no made in US alternative, the patient is still stuck with the China or other questionable country’s product. And meds administered in the hospital like chemo or for emergencies, the patient doesn’t have time to “shop around.” Rebuilding the US drug making industry will take effort but anything worthwhile does. We have the resources and can-do attitude, an attitude that hasn’t disappeared – just faded into the background. As for the higher cost of making drugs in the US, often this is an excuse given by those who profit from cheaper ingredients made elsewhere. Interesting how people were better off financially back in the days when most of our stuff was made in the US. Now even with cheaper goods made elsewhere, our household economic fortunes continue to decrease and now our health is being compromised as well.

I appreciate this show. This information really needs to go mainstream.

I would most definitely like country of origin on medications and I would happily pay more for drugs from countries that I trust.

As Ms. Gibson indicated, it really is a matter of national security. As with steel, we need to disincentivize pharmaceutical companies from manufacturing oversees or buying ingredients from oversees.

First Thank you for keeping us informed. I am just stunned that our government is not keeping us safe. And it is all just money and politics.

How can I find out if my blood pressure is made in China.

Some politicians in the House & Senate have tried to get a bill that requires the country of origin listed on the drug bottle label one takes home. The big drug companies, however, give politicians so much money most will do anything the companies want. And they don’t want country or origin on the label.

The FDA in the past has stated that checking drugs for contaminants isn’t their job.
they are also supposed to check these foreign plants for quality every 3 years or so, they don’t.

I have known about this for several years and continue to ask my pharmacist where my meds is from. They will look at the bottle and cannot figure out where it came from or was made. They pass it off. Disgusting.

I thought it was an excellent program but not sure why privatization for profit shouldnt include accountability for health and safety nor why the AMA would put up with doctors being put in a position to “do harm” by prescribing unsafe drugs. American companies including those who use materials from overseas have an ethical and moral responsibility for the product they sell for profit in the US.

And there is no excuse for selling a dangerous drug in the US. If companies had the consumers interest at heart(and they should so they would continue buying their product) and their reputations, why couldnt testing take place to confirm what they are buying(the FDA could do this also along with onsite inspections which provide data relevant only for that inspection time). And oh yes, that would cost more. With the cost savings achieved by going offshore did drug prices go down? Unfortunately, many companies find it ethical(cheaper) to do the right thing if there is a cost to doing harm but with no penalties for doing harm I am guessing we are in for a long haul.

And I have to add, there are many companies who do the right thing because it is important to their leadership and the company runs that way. Having worked for one for 30 years I know it is possible and profitable. Always a choice!

Doctors are aware of some problems. My doctor will only prescribe the name brand Synthroid for my low thyroid condition. The generic is all over the place with the amount it contains and it can be way too high or way too low. This appears to be common knowledge. I don’t mind paying $45 a month for the right dose but it’s a shame people have to. Now I’m worrying about the safety of all my medications!

Thank you for presenting this. Please thank the author.

A few years ago my insurance company said they would only pay for the generic (levothyroxine) instead of Synthroid. The fillers to inactive ingredients made me very sick at my stomach. Therefore I pay the higher price for synthroid. I bet the reason for my sickness was just as this story explained. Wake up FDA and do your job! If you think testing is not your job then what is your responsibility for making sure we are not poisoned by countries that have no accountability for making a safe product?

One of my patients on metoprolol (a GENERIC DRUG that used to have a minimal copay) came to my office today in the a.m., saying that when he went to pick up a refill yesterday it had an 80-dollar copay. He said he could not pay for it. Just recently, in JULY, this medication shot WAY UP in price. I immediately called in a substitute medication because his life depends on this medication preventing his heart from beating too fast.

I believe this sudden increase in price is because the metoprolol is being produced mainly in China and might be suspect. So the USA price of available metoprolol outside of China has suddenly be driven up by the Valsartan debacle. This person could die as a result of this situation. This is an absurdity. All I can say is that if the American people let this stand, they will reap a whirlwind of increasing prices and inability to afford their healthcare. It is intolerable from a medical care standpoint that a drug as crucial as metoprolol should suddenly have a huge price increase because of the stupidity & avarice of OUR pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy “benefit” managers.

I have long been troubled by the fact that many of our meds and oftentimes the ingredients they are made from come from China, and I am happy to learn that I am not alone. We can remedy this situation by manufacturing our own medicines until we get to the place where we can go it alone and not rely on other countries for resources so critical to our survival. We do not need to do this abruptly and put our health care system in crisis, but we desperately need to begin the process now.

I am also concerned about the increase of cancer cases. Why the rapid increase in cases, and why our progress in defeating this disease is so slow? We cannot make progress unless we can verify the quality of ingredients that make up our medicines. How did we become so dependent on others? I just hope that it’s not too late to begin work and solve these problems.

The problem is due to valuing profit over consumer safety. I know that many manufacturers use Chinese parts or products made in China. However, making more profit by using countries known for problems with medications is not safe. There is a huge difference between cell phones and medications ingested by people. The health “industry” compounds the problem by working with drug companies to keep production costs down and profits up.

Since the FDA and other consumer advocate programs suffer from budget cuts, what do we do if we need a drug that is made in China and have to use that drug? Have studies been done (perhaps by self-funded philanthropic organizations?) to determine how widespread this problem is?

Perhaps Americans should be allowed to buy drugs from Canada or other countries with proven safety records and doctors and pharmacists permitted to specifically prescribe these drugs. I hate to say that I don’t trust the US government to make safety more important than profit or other reasons, but I just don’t.

Thank you for your podcast on drugs coming from China. I am Canadian and was shocked when I received a call in July from the Family Physician’s office that the Valsartan that I was taking for several years was recalled. Did some searching on internet and discovered that China was involved in this drug. Other than clothing, which all seems to be made in Asia including mostly China, I do not buy food or skin lotions/creams that is made in China. Recently received a gift of hand, body and shower that was made in China.

Today, before receiving your email with podcast, was checking the ingredients, and many were carcinogenic. This was the third time I have received such gifts and the second time from one friend. Had thrown out the previous gifts but decided to check ingredients. Thinking of a diplomatic way to tell the friends not to buy me any such gifts from China. Finally, I do agree with Luke from Florida that “Everything is made in China.”

I always read OTC med labels and avoid those made in China, India, or other non-Western countries b/c of lax regulation and oversight. For example, I discovered Walmart has two sources for their 20 mg Omeprazole acid reducer, India and Israel. One makes the 28-ct and the other produces the 42-ct.

BTW, American friends living in China (working for a global US firm) say their highly educated Chinese co-workers will only feed their infants imported western baby food and they also purchase meds made abroad whenever possible. There’s a lesson here for those who rant about gov: Safe medicines, foods, cars, buildings, water, clean air, etc. require effective, standards, monitoring, and enforcement…”government.”

Joe & Terry never disappoint! I learned about this important issue on C-SPAN (https://www.c-span.org/video/?445077-2/china-rx) and knew they would share it here ~ thoroughly and professionally as is usual for them. Thank you!

North Carolina Julie, im w/you! Joe and Terry are WONDROUS!

I have read the. Book China RX, which talks about how big American pharmaceutical companies sold out to China, the unsanitary conditions where these drugs are made,some factories where workers relieve themselves in a bucket, etc. Many times,the FDA has little access for inspections because regulations are restrictive in foreign countries. Just think, if this continues, we will have no choice. We will have to depend on China for inferior drugs. Drug shortages and very little FDA control. I am so worried that my husband is taking sotolal, a powerful drug for afib made by Tera labs. Every should read this book, China RX. You can request in at your local library.

As a RURAL primary care MD & PhD trained biochemist who very much respects the great research coming mainly from China that will revolutionize cost-effective pharmaceutical & non-pharmaceutical therapy in the future because of its focus on epigenetic signaling pathways AND extreme disgust at how many profiteering dollars have been leached out of our health care systems because of the uber-greed of USA BIG PHARMA, Drug Distributors (e.g., Turing) and Pharmacy “benefit” Managers (PBM’s as CVS CareMark), I support the following:

1) Networked / Clinical Decision-supported 24 x 7 DPC (ACA & John Locke Foundation backed!) & DSC with integrated Acute Care Management, Chronic Care Management, Preventive Care Management, Mental Health Care Management and Palliative Care Management PLUS physician-supervised & very well trained tele-nurses’ coverage of patient self-report and continuity of care arrangements that can include tele-nurse referral of patients to Independent Nurse Practitioner care:
2) “Wrap around” catastrophic care insurance through competing MUTUAL insurance companies as is actually specified by the ACA (!) and touted by the John Locke Foundation, a very conservative organization;
3) Progressively subsidized from birth HSA’s tied to HSA-savings & investment Banks with tax free in and tax free out support for health care / education / pension expenses with positive incentives for self-care, family-care and community-care wellness;
4) USA generic drug manufacture and distribution without profiteering PLUS certified and monitored 3D CAM Printer production of generics in community pharmacies integrated into Primary Care Management activities:
5) Physician-supervised Imaging Centers, Surgical Centers, Reference Labs, Allied Health Centers independent of Hospital Systems and having competitive TRANSPARENT pricing without facility upcoding;
6) Community-focused health care & well care entrepreneurship centered on the personalized use of health care data / research results PLUS off the GRID energy production and distribution to support livable / affordable abodes, energy cost-efficient use health care and community care sites, creation of cost-effective pathways for COMMUNITY health professional education;
7) Comparative Effectiveness studies integrated into DPC and DSC to promote continuous quality improvement and cost-beneficial outcomes AND much more cost-effective pathways to FDA certification.

where DPC = value for TRANSPARENT cost of care focused Direct Primary Care AND DSC = value for TRANSPARENT cost of care focused Direct Specialty Care.

Of course any product made in the U.S. can have defects in it. However, if you travel around the world you will find that America still demands higher quality in what they produce than any other country in the world. It isn’t perfect but how many times have we seen China “cheat” in producing products. Not to many years ago they even started using lead based paints for toys which isn’t a mistake but a direct attempt to lower costs and to make more money.

Yes, the FDA should have more power and be less controlled by industry. That is where the American public can help by their demanding this. Way too often Americans see these tragedies, complain about it, then do nothing to make sure it won’t happen again. We ALL are part of the solution.

What?!?!?!

If it is anything to consume or take orally that is made in China, or is not labeled by Country of Origin, assume it is substandard and do not trust it.

I feel that this program had a touch of political overtone in it. While your presenter admittedly conducts research on many health issues which have political overtones (which is obvious from thirty seconds on her website—“By driving out inefficiency and wasteful spending, every American who needs medical care can receive it, now and for generations to come.”), I would hope that all sides of an issue and a balanced approach can still part of any discussion, either from the hosts or from other presenters. What I heard especially at the end of the program was “buy American” and by extension, “Make America great again”.

America as a country of origin does not by definition make a product safe. Products from America could also contain carcinogens, which is why the better solution to this problem is to increase the role of the FDA and the resources that it has at its disposal to protect the American public—fix the FDA first. If the requisite inspection and monitoring cannot be done regarding Chinese manufacturers, then of course prohibit the product from import and sale in the U.S. Where a product is made should not matter, but inspecting it and certifying it must.

It is always nice to know where products that I consume are made (and by the way many of my prescriptions and supplements do in fact state a country of origin) but what is far more important is to be confident that they are safe and do what they are supposed to do. To suggest that somehow “made in America” automatically means a higher quality than a product made somewhere else is untrue and potentially harmful.

Another issue I found with generics right across the board is what the UK’s Pharmacist Assn. calls ‘availability’. That is, that drug SHOULD adhere to Materia Medica’s guidelines but in many cases, the amount of actual drug in a product can differ, thereby causing – over time – actual harm. Some doctors will not prescribe a thyroid generic saying ‘they’re not in the patients’ best interests’. Also, as many comments here suggest, the FDA is not without problems, and how Americans can demand better standards is the question we all should be asking. Urgently. Disease, along with climate change, is accelerating.

The article is not suggesting that American made is better, merely that the quality controls are tighter.

I worked for a pharmaceutical company before retiring after 36 years and I can tell you that the worst American standards exceed the top standards from Chinese and Indian manufacturers. “Made in America” from US raw materials does indeed mean a higher quality than a product made elsewhere.

For instance, FDA documentation in their Form 483 reports from inspections of Indian pharma plants reveal a constant testing protocol where failures are not considered valid test results and the product is continually tested until a passing result is obtained and that is the final test result for the batch.

Chinese are known to lace raw bulk intermediates with additives that will simulate the parameter being tested, thereby producing a passing results. Stating facts is not a political sway nor does proclaiming the superiority of American pharmaceuticals make a political stand—-it is a bonafide fact that the rest of the world has a lot of catching up to do regarding safe and efficacious good manufacturing practices.

Well said!

There is the chance here to finally correct the extreme profiteering of PHARMA. For example, there is a drug called Aggrenox that is generic in the form of Aspirin / Dipyridamole ER (extended release). In early 2013, its cost was about 16 dollars for a 30 day supply. Then in 2014 with the actual onset of the ACA, its price went up to over 300 dollars for a 30 day supply. This was on the goodrx website but was taken down and buried from viewing.

However, when I was in the VA as a general internist I looked up how much the VA was paying for this medication and it was pennies per pill. A prescription for 60 per month thus probably costs less than one dollar. This is a medication that is recommended for the secondary prevention of stroke. I have had patients as a physician outside the VA (after retirement from the VA) who could not afford the costs of this medication both before and after 2014. THIS in MY OPINION means that the manufacturer is complicit in perpetuating a price for this medicine that prevents physicians from practicing evidence-based medicine to the extent that great harm comes to the patient because of unaffordability of this medicine. THAT IS NOT RIGHT.

NOW let’s advance to June 2018 and look at the goodrx cost for generic Aggrenox: about 160 dollars for a months supply. THEN look at the July 2018 cost of generic Aggrenox = $328.81 and guess what that earned the July 2018 price a RED DOT as the highest price ever for generic Aggrenox since the current records going back to 2015. If one looks at other generic medications such as lisinopril, amlodipine, nitroglycerin, metoprolol…..etc THEY have RED DOTTED between June and July 2018.

Hypothesis: look at the medications in goodrx that are RED DOTTING NOW and you will find meds for which our dependency on China is even now critical with companies raising their prices because of fear of the availability of these medications from China due to questions of their purity and safety. I follow goodrx prices because I buy critically important medications for some of my patients who cannot afford them due to being uninsured or underinsured in North Carolina. North Carolina ranks 49th out of 50 states in overall cost of care and where I practice in North Carolina (one of the poorest and most rural counties in the state) the cost of care is about the worse by far. AND the outcomes of care are about the worse anywhere. In the last North Carolina Medical Society Meeting the new head of the DHHS (Department of Health & Human Services) compared the infant mortality rate of an very adjacent county to where I practice to the infant mortality rate of Outer Mongolia!!!!!

This is NOT a political issue. The uber-profiteering by the health care industry in general and PHARMA most definitely is making our country deliver BANANA REPUBLIC level. People are dying. Children are dying. Infants are dying. Pregnant women are dying needlessly while our politicians (ALL persuasions) do not have the political guts to throw aside the games (horrible games resulting in horrible, totally unnecessary outcomes) AND COME TOGETHER RIGHT NOW to rectify the ABYSMAL / Cost-ineffective systems of health care they have foisted upon US. Lets call it like it is and use a RURAL expression: OUR politicians do not know shit from Shinola (TM) when it comes to OUR healthcare because they are ALL wallowing in the filthy lucre thrown at them by PHARMA, for-profit insurance companies, Hospital Systems, their PACs, their wealthy donors with ideological agendas…..etc…..etc…..etc.

WE the PEOPLE MUST demand better from OUR representatives in government or WE THE PEONS will remain PAWNs of the POLs – ALL of THEM. If that is being “political” then so be it.

I listened to the whole show and did not feel it was political in any respect. The FDA cannot make sure that all manufacturing, production and distribution facilities worldwide abide by FDA standards. They simply do not have the time, manpower or funds to do so. They are able to do this in the USA. That is the best reason to buy products that originate in the USA.

On another note, approximately 12 years ago there was a rash of family pet deaths which were attributed to substandard pet foods originating from China. I know because I had a cat that suffered from eating some of that pet food. I would be very wary about trusting anything from China that is meant to be ingested by human beings. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this show and definitely learned from it.

I didn’t get to hear the entire show, but I’ll definitely be listening to the podcast. Thank you so much for keeping this in front of everyone. I see your posts on Facebook and Twitter.

This program deserves a 10 star rating. It is so timely, so pertinent, so urgently needed given the valsartan scandal.

I am on a million physician blog. Before today’s program, I urged physicians to listen to it. I am going to repost on a blog topic on the subject of meds from China that asked “why?” The analysis of this issue was precisely covered with outstanding interaction between Terry & Joe with Rosemary Gibson. There was an outstanding synthesis of solutions to the issue of the WORLD’s dependency on China for pharmaceuticals and how to avoid the dangers of this dependency.

I am going to urge ALL the physicians on the blog to listen to this program and consider joining in a campaign by concerned physicians to recommend THIS reporting for a Pulitzer Prize & to contact their state and federal legislators to do something constructive about this travesty or get voted out of office. This program more than any other that I have ever heard or read gets to the issue of the extreme profiteering of PHARMA at the expense of the Life, Liberty & Happiness of the American people and the peoples of the entire world. It also highlights the utter depravity of OUR politicians & PresidentS in allowing this travesty to continue, to grow and to threaten our families in unimaginable ways until the highlighting of it today.

Thank you People’s Pharmacy and Rosemary Gibson for this program. I believe all peoples throughout the world, including China, owe you the highest praise & gratitude for this report.

I didn’t hear the entire show, unfortunately, but the tail end and I immediately had to comment. In June, I got sick and was put on a Z-pack. I am on Medicare and have a Part-D drug coverage that only pays for generics. As I come from a family with two pharmacists, I read the package and saw that it was made in Croatia! I was almost afraid to take it. I shared this with my dad, (he’s 97 and worked for CVS until he was 89 and my mother asked him to retire), and he was shocked to say the least. After finishing the pills I have to say that I got better, but my digestive system stopped working for about two weeks, even with pre and probiotics and daily yoghurt. It is disconcerting to say the least.

Rosemary Gibson said that there are no consumer protection laws in China. That isn’t true, they do. Statements like that just create fear mongering over all things foreign.
Why do we think that if something is made in the United States that it is going to be better? Are the workers going to all have PhD’s? We have drugs and medical devices that get approved that haven’t had proper testing all the time and this has to do with profits over patients. As far as the Valsartan issue, the impurity was not discovered by the FDA, it was found by the European Medicines Agency. So again, why do we think that making drugs here is going to improve safety? A solution would be to take research, testing and monitoring of drugs and devices away from those who profit from them. Preferably a global agency funded by the IMF.

It might have been more accurate for Rosemary Gibson to have said that the consumer protection laws in the People’s Republic of China are not enforced. I would not knowingly ingest anything made in China – food or medicine. The Chinese standard of quality – or safety–is simply nowhere close to that of U.S. products.

If you look at the “Consumer Protection” documents put out by China in 1994 and 2014 you would realize there are no real Consumer Protection Laws in China. There are only talking points meant to assuage the gullible into believing there are strong laws governing consumer protection.

It is wiser that USA citizens pressure their legislators to wake up and smell the stench of what they have created in allowing PHARMA carte blanche to profiteer while endangering our prescription medicine supply chain and thus to threaten, quite literally, the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness of OUR FAMILIES.

Now is the time for all good citizens who care about the integrity, viability, safety, outcomes and access to evidence-based medicines of OUR health care systems to unequivocally put EXTREME PRESSURE on OUR politicians and on ALL Presidents past, present and future to quit playing politics with OUR healthcare and to come together in a BIPARTISAN way to address this issue immediately and comprehensively so there is NO CHANCE that the AMERICAN people will be harmed medically or financially in the future. In my opinion, those politicians who continue to play games with OUR healthcare should be voted OUT of OFFICE, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians OR Independents.

I am not sure i am doing this correctly, since i did not see it posted last time I tried. Anyway, , In simple words, I feel that all this puts our health at the bottom of the issue. It should be, consumer first. Why do we have to worry where our prescription is coming from, and also , that our fda, may not have enough people to supervise what we get, and why do we have to take a different manufacturer, every refill, and worry that it will not be the same, until you get sick or realize it is not doing the job. i was told that the pharmacy and pharmacists, have no say over what they get, because there are thousands of mfg, co., and they have to use what they get, but tried to reassure me they were safe. Are they?
thanks
Ernestina

You should ask your pharmacist to supply you with vendors that you know are safe and not Chinese or Indian. Walgreens will. If your pharmacy will not do this, then switch. You have a right to be protected.

Big Pharma should be held responsible for the safety of generic drugs made in foreign countries that they sell under their label! Congress should pass a law regarding this.

Also I think it is time Congress investigate the relationship between the FDA and Big Pharma

It seems to me that out of habit we trust the source of our prescription medicines. Having recently purchased a drug (Janumet) from a Canadian Pharmacy I noticed that in their literature they say the actual prescription may come from China, India, or other country. Are there quality controls in any of the countries?

I don’t listen to podcasts ever. If you would like to share the information in writing, I would be interested in reading it. Otherwise, I will get the information elsewhere.

Not only medicines are made in china but the main ingredients of medicines are imported from china (i.e. Tylenol), even artificial sugar (600 hundred times sweeter than real sugar) for diet soft drinks are imported from China.

Irrespective to the above the prices of medicines are much more expensive in USA than Europe and Canada.
Your article fails to mentioned how one finds out where the medicines are coming from.

I, for one, am not surprised at this turn of events. Whenever possible, I (we) avoid ANY food or pharmaceutical products from China due to the number of cases of reported contamination of one kind or another. This includes pet foods (melamine contamination) and dishware (painted with lead paint which can leach into food). The health and safety of humans should not be compromised by saving a few dollars. Given an informed choice, I will always buy pharmaceutical products produced in U.S. factories, inspected by U.S. inspectors. The same is true of fish and vegetables. Chinese fish farms and vegetable farms have been shown on television which are absolutely filthy and full of disgusting contaminants. If our local supermarket has run out of a product made in the U.S. and has only the equivalent product made in China, I (we) will not buy it, and go to another store or wait until the product we want is available at a future date. For our family, the peace of mind is well worth the extra money.

Yes, this concerns me. I check my foods and vitamins for origin, why can’t we find out about our medicines?

I believe that bureaucracy has led to the total collapse of many of our agencies, federal, state and city. Since they are unreliable and unaccountable they should also be unfunded. Then the powers that be should contract all their functions, just as has been done in the commercial sector: if an entity is not performing, subcontract it. This way anytime their performance doesn’t meet requirements, the function would go out to bid.

I think it’s appalling. Just think, people won’t give their dogs and cats pet treats made in China because of past poisonings. There were tons of contaminated sheet rock from China that had to be torn out of homes after installation due to health problems and problems caused to HVAC systems and appliances. There were instances of defective auto parts coming from China. Yet we have allowed companies to send fish and chicken to China for processing and allow drug companies sell us drugs made in China, or made from ingredients from China. Here’s another problem. When we get a food item that says it is from Canada, that may mean it was packaged in Canada. It doesn’t mean there isn’t ingredients from wherever in the world. We have allowed the global corporate/government consortium to trade our health and our jobs for profits and political contributions.

Interesting topic, but I have limited time to spend at the computer (it’s not healthy for me). It would be great if the information could be summarized in print.

I was taking a hp pill and the color stayed the same (yellow). However, the shade changed. I spent 5 trips to ER with a swollen lips problem before my doctor took me off the pill. It was made in China.

How do you determine if the drugs you are taking are made in China?

I think this is horrible. I do not purchase food from Asia but now forced to take their drugs. This is all due to corporation greed. As a consumer not much we can do.

U.S. corporate greed PLUS U.S. government indifference and/or legislators paid by lobbyists to look the other way as foreign manufacturers with few or no safety standards pump polluted junk at us. All for a few dollars, which, divided by the millions of pills produced in a batch probably amounts to only a few cents per pill.

But, U.S. corporations do not pass along thes savings; they merely pocket the extra profits.

Our FDA should have tough regulations to force all manufacturers to produce products at the save level of purity that U.S. companies must have, and prove it.

Medicines do not give you the same results as medicines made in USA. I hear many people along with myself having severe reaction to meds. Or they just don’t work. The pharma are playing Russian roulette with our bodies. It must stop now.

Is Atorvastin (Lipitor) more likely to cause Myositis than Simvastatin (Zocor)? I have just been switched from Zocor to Lipitor.

One would THINK our government would have long ago required big pharma to confine their manufacturing to countries where strict quality controls could perhaps be enforced, like possibly the USA. Instead they seem to agree that obscene profits are the major concern. Perhaps there is a conflict of interest since most investment portfolios that bring big money include investments in pharmaceuticals and I’d guess that most in Washington have investment portfolios.

I hope the book mentions how/where to find out where the drug was made.

Yes, it does. Thank you.

If FDA approves a drug, it should be approved only for that company to manufacture with them controlling it”, not farm out production to another company or country to make it because they cant monitor/control ingredients, then. They farm it out to China or India because there is more profit.those those countries are not following the “recipe” of ingredients approved. Oh wait, i get it…more profit for big pharma again!!!!

One of my blood pressure medication was manufactured by companies from India. I was never so sick in my whole life after taking meds from these companies. One of the companies was cited for diluting chemo drugs, and our government still buys the generic drugs from these companies. When I take the medication made in the States, no problem.

Will the program tell consumers how they can determine where (in which country) their drugs are made?

Do an internet search on the vendor that provides your meds.

EVERYTHING is made in China

Every generic I have been given in the last two years is from India and none have had in them what was prescribed–especially the diuretics and opiod pain relievers.

I am a retired RN and know my meds and what they are supposed to do. There was NO PAIN RELIEVER WHATSOEVER in the 3 different opiods–made in India–that I was precribed over the two year period. I later discovered that these companies were being fined by the FDA for having substituted talcum powder and “chalk powder” in the tablets for the real medication! I finally found a pharmacy that will order Authorized Generics for me and have much better results.

Google the “DNA list of authorized generics” and ask your doctor to only order these as needed. (Not every drug on the market has an authorized generic as yet).

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