In 2019, 80% of the active ingredients used in branded or generic drugs come from overseas. India alone provides almost 40% of our generic drugs. And although there’s nothing inherently bad in obtaining drugs from other countries, quality control is often poor and data fabrication rampant. According to a former FDA inspector, 76% of Indian companies provided him with fraudulent or deceptive data. When he later transferred to China, 79% of companies had a similar pattern of deception. So, the healthcare system won’t be fixed by lower drug prices alone, will it?
The current rage for controlling costs via deregulation has infected the FDA. A study in Science reported that since President Trump took office, FDA warning letters have dropped by 33% and Official Action Indicated (OAI) reports have dropped by 45%. Before you applaud, consider: When it comes to life-impacting medications, is less regulation really good?
Can we really allow calls to produce the cheapest possible medications to dominate and distort our industry? Consider this twist on the old maxim: A medicine can be effective, safe or cheap. You can have two, but not all three.