More on “Why Aren’t You Dead?”

The Food and Drug Administration regulates prescription drug sales.  However, 80% of the active ingredients in U.S. drugs originate overseas.  The GAO says that at the current rate it would take more than 13 years to inspect each foreign establishment even once!  So insuring FDA rules are followed is really up to each individual company.  And, unlike generics, brand companies have an incentive to protect the good name of their brand. 

But the overall problem is bigger.  Pfizer has found fake versions of its drugs in at least 75 countries and in the legitimate supply chain in at least 25 countries.  So a market for safety among outlets (pharmacies, mail order houses) is equally important.  Data is from a Melinda Beck article in the WSJ. 

[This article is a continuation of the previous Health Alert: Why Aren't You Dead]

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