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How worried are you about counterfeit drugs?

India, the world's largest manufacturer of generic drugs, has become a busy center for counterfeit and substandard medicine.

By Local Editors  |  September 10, 2010; 9:48 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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FDA oversees drugs as well as food - making holistic medicine look better every day

Posted by: asmith1 | September 11, 2010 9:13 AM

You should restate the question:

Are you concerned about ingesting an unknown drug of unknown potency and unknown effects and side effects? It might be harmless or it might not.

Yes

No

Posted by: shadowmagician | September 11, 2010 11:49 AM

In Canada, law demands that drug prices not exceed the median of the price of the drugs in six European countries plus the U.S. (this was true in 2000 and I think is still true).

In the U.S., law demands that there be not even any negotiation of drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid.

See the difference?

Posted by: ACounter | September 12, 2010 12:23 AM

In Canada, law demands that drug prices not exceed the median of the price of the drugs in six European countries plus the U.S. (this was true in 2000 and I think is still true).

In the U.S., law demands that there be not even any negotiation of drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid.

See the difference?

Posted by: ACounter | September 12, 2010 12:24 AM

These "concerns" always pop up when people point out that we're being overcharged for prescription drugs.

Or when the drug companies are lobbying to limit re-importation of their drugs into the U.S. to save money.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 12, 2010 7:23 AM

What proportion of "counterfeit" drugs are merely mis-branded or gray market? Big pharma can easily undercut "illegitimate" sales by reducing prices to reasonable levels. They'd rather drum up fear and charge even more to cover expensive schemes for preventing such competition.

Posted by: dkb50 | September 12, 2010 8:25 AM

I prefer real drugs to counterfeit. You can't get high on fake drugs

Posted by: vw52 | September 12, 2010 9:17 AM

Why on earth would you be worried about drugs in India? They'd only be sold here by shady online pharmacies.

Posted by: antispy | September 12, 2010 10:22 AM

Antispy, apparently you don't know much. Either that, or you have a great prescription drug plan that pays for brand name all the time.

GlaxoSmithKline has an Indian factory.
Ranbaxy makes generic Lipitor, Caduet and Zocor.

Indian pharmaceutical companies are cashing in on the ever increasing switch to generics for popular drugs as they become available. Aurobinda Pharmaceutical makes generic Ambien (as does 16 othe manufacturers.

If you don't take prescription drugs, good for you. However, there may be a day when you'll need it, and wonder how effective the generic is. It is supposed to vary only by 8-10%, but I have sometimes wondered. The inactive ingredients in some generics vary, so drugs don't work exactly like the brand name does in many cases. Generics are cheaper because the company making them hasn't had to pay the expenses of developing the drug.

I do also know that since there is a capacity for greed in everyone, there's no telling how good your generic is. It is the responsibility of the FDA to keep tabs on this. It is easy and cheap to ignore quality control, as witness Mylan in Morgantown, WV. Workers overrode QC controls in the plant. The article below illustrates other manufacturer problems.

So, the moral is, pay attention to what you are taking.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE56Q20N20090727

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | September 12, 2010 12:04 PM

I lived in India 2004-2008, and took India-produced prescribed medication for cholesterol and blood pressure. When I returned to the US and switched to domestic equivalents, neither my cholesterol nor my BP numbers changed. Though hardly a statistically significant sample, it suggests that the medications I took there were effective. So long as I shopped at the major chain chemists I was completely comfortable with the product quality.

Posted by: curtpdx | September 12, 2010 8:28 PM

Don't worry; the FDA will protect Big Pharma here in the US, and we will all be able to keep taking the same good high potency chemicals they have been doling out for so long, without any concern about these upstart sources who want to provide substandard chemicals to put in out bodies. Rest assured, the price difference will be a sure indicator of just how much better the FDA overseen drugs really are compared to the generics coming from out of the country. And consider that if you aren't paying at least 50% more for your chemicals, you just aren't buying American, an apolitical move on your part, to be sure!

Remember: Buy American chemicals, not that cheap, foreign stuff!

Posted by: Aramis1 | September 12, 2010 11:21 PM

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