Toxic generic drugs flooding the U.S. — Ranbaxy just the tip of the iceberg

Last week, the Indian generic drug manufacturer Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to seven felony counts involving manufacturing and selling its pharmaceuticals and agreed to pay $500 million, the largest fine of its kind against a generic drug maker. The evidence mounted by the government included forging and falsifying data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, failing to test many drugs, lying about test results and much more. Now, the details of the true facts are being unveiled as is the the the inability of the FDA to determine the quality of the generic drugs flooding the U.S. market, over 80% of which are manufactured in factories abroad. Despite violations of U.S. criminal laws and the fact that Ranbaxy sells over a billion dollars worth of medicines int he U.S. yearly, no individuals were criminally implicated. In her article entitled Dirty Medicine, written for Fortune Magazine, award winning journalist Katherine Eban examines how deep and extensive the fraud is and how generic drug makers, especially those operating abroad can easily break the rules as drug applications work on the honor system regarding the data submitted here. The central question yet to be answered is whether our pharmacies are being flooded with toxic or ineffective drugs and what effect this is having on the health of our populace. FDA systems for monitoring adverse affects of drugs are arcane and it took an insider whistleblower to come forward to reveal the Ranbaxy scandal.