Sunday, June 17, 2007

FDA Barely Glances at Chinese, Indian Drug Imports

Despite the scrutiny placed by the FDA on American drug companies, imports of both drugs and drug ingredients from China and India are getting barely a glance. Both countries have seen a tremendous surge in drug orders, primarily for generic drugs from India and active ingredients from China. According to the FDA, they'd like to do more to inspect the imports, but they simply don't have the manpower or budget to do so. (Washington Post: FDA Scrutiny Scant In India, China as Drugs Pour Into U.S..)

When one considers the problems caused by imported pet food from China compounded by the tainted toothpaste also imported from China, one would reasonably assume that the inspection of anything coming in from the third-world would be the highest priority for the FDA. Apparently not.

Chinese and Indian imports are attractive here due to their extremely low cost. Of course, the low cost of those imports isn't surprising given the lack of workplace and health standards in those countries, the lack of pollution controls, and the all-but-slave labor that they employ. Naturally, those are the same reasons American manufacturing and technology are being off-shored to those same countries. Whether we choose to admit it or not, by supporting imports from China and India we are effectively supporting a modern day slave trade and child labor abuses that is not legal by any standard, international or otherwise.

In the case of drug imports, we are placing our own health at risk by accepting generics and active ingredients from countries that have already demonstrated their inability to maintain even the most basic of quality and purity standards in other exports. If I cannot trust them to safely ship pet food and toothpaste, how can I possibly trust them to sell me prescription drugs? Have we now reached the point that we are willing to sell our own health to the lowest bidder?

Our trade agreements with China and India have reached the point where they are now a national security problem. We have given these countries control of our industry, control of our technology, and now control of our health care. We are effectively selling America piece by piece, and we are selling it to nations that have never been our allies. Our trade pacts with the third-world are the greatest threat to our national security, yet most corporations, most politicians, and even most of average America is willingly participating in this national yard sale all under the guise of lower prices. Hopefully we'll wake up in time, but to date I see no evidence that we will.


Silas Scarborough said...

Socialized medicine, where is it?

America could take control of the health care system but chooses not to do it and instead let's 'free market forces' regulate it. The result is that prescription drugs are vastly cheaper in Canada or anywhere else in the world, for that matter. The massive price fixing going on would land any other outfit in a Federal penitentiary but, in the US, it's business as usual.

In a country that proclaims so loudly that there is a right to life, does it not follow that there should be a right to health? America is not being poisoned by false and tainted drugs from overseas but rather by the pernicious practices of the medical insurance community and, barring some type of governmental intervention, it will do nothing but get worse.

Example: I noticed price comparisons in a pharmacy the other day and the high-ticket products are psychoactive drugs such as Prozac, etc. and sexual aids such as Viagra. On the other hand, my blood pressure medication is extremely cheap. Am I to believe that it is so much more expensive to make the former than the latter. It's simply not credible.

Where's the 'for the people' stuff. America should be the healthiest country on the planet but it's not even close. Any kind of long-term debilitating illness will destroy a family in the US and leave it destitute. It happens time and again and not a damn thing is done except for wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So what do candidates discuss in a debate? Evolution. It's such an unbelievable state of madness that it defies description.

anonyma said...

I would request that before posting a comment, you conduct at least rudimentary research into the veracity of your claims. It is true that China has an acknowledged problem of tainted medications and drugs...something the Chinese government is actively sorting out, but to lump India with China -- merely because it is convenient for the rest of your argument -- is absurd. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is one of the best-regulated in the world, and Indian pharamceuticals are manufactured to the highest standards of safety. In an industry in which American companies are hardly lily-white (remember thalidomide, anyone?) it is both erroneous and unjust to rate Indian medications as being of inferior quality to those manufactured in the United States (or "first-world" countries, as the writer would probably say). Indian medications are cheaper not because they use child labor (again, please check your assertions before making them) but because the purchasing power parity is so much higher in India. So you have scientists and technicians who are as, if not more, qualified as their American counterparts, but who don't need the same amount of money in order to lead a comfortable lifestyle. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is top-notch but by all means, please buy First-World medications if you wish....and can afford them. That way, you subsidize the month-long vacations French workers take.