Imported Drugs Lack Necessary Oversight

Linked on our blogs with Economy In – Published on Economy in, by Dustin Ensinger, November 25, 2010.

An increasing percentage of prescription drugs and dietary supplements consumed in America are imported from China with very little oversight, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

The report found that very few of the finished drugs are inspected for quality once imported to America. Even fewer factories that make the products are inspected. 

“The sheer number of foreign facilities, the complexity of the drug supply chain and the rapidly changing use of suppliers all pose formidable obstacles,” The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement to the Kansas City Star.

In the past several years, the FDA has inspected just 12 percent of Chinese plants making prescription drugs exported to America. That means 811 of the 920 facilities in China have gone unchecked.

By contrast, last year the FDA inspected 1,015 plants in the U.S.

China is not the only country that manufactures drugs for America with little to no oversight or regulation. Roughly 80 percent of pharmaceutical ingredients and 40 percent of the finished product comes from overseas, according to the report … (full text).

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