ABC: The Federal Government took the unusual step of blocking some widely-used generic drugs from coming into the country as it raised serious questions about how the drugs were made and what is in them. More than 30 drugs manufactured in India by Ranbaxy Laboratories are being blocked.
The list includes popular cholesterol medicines and antibiotics. The serious manufacturing problems found at two of the company's plants -- include cross contamination of medicines, poor sterilization, and incomplete production records. They potentially involved Ranbaxy's generic versions of cholesterol lowering drugs Zocor, Vytorin and Pravachol, antibiotic Cipro, acne drug Accutane, antacid Zantac, and allergy medicines Alavert and Children's Claritin - as well as dozens of others drugs.
Dr. Douglas Throckmorton/FDA: "We in the FDA need to assure those quality issues are addressed before we let another drug from those factories come into the United States." The FDA's has known about problems at the plants for some three years.
Rep. Bart Stupak/(D)- Michigan: "FDA's action is certainly warranted, but way too late. Where were they? Once again, asleep at the switch."
The FDA insisted that consumers who already have the Ranbaxy version of these drugs should not worry - that despite serious manufacturing issues- sampling has turned up no problem with the medications themselves." That does not reassure those who've been pushing the FDA to take action against this company.
Rep. Bart Stupak/(D)- Michigan "If I am an American consumer and my drug's made by Ranbaxy, I'm throwing it out." This is not the first time the safety of drugs made overseas has been called into question. Earlier this year, tainted Heparin from China was blamed for more than a dozen deaths. At that time, the FDA promised to boost overseas inspections and enforcement.
Dr. Peter Lurie/Public Citizen: "This is a major international problem, and we are only beginning to wrestle with it." So for the second time this year the FDA is grappling with the problem of foreign made drugs.. it's one they increasingly have to worry about -- with more and more US drugs now coming from overseas.
I do choose the generic version when it's available. My pharmacist always says it's the same thing for less cost. I never realized what the danger could be. How about you? Do you choose generic medicine for your family?
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