Monday, December 10, 2007

Scared Of Lead Toys, How About Your Medicine Chest

You're unhappy about lead paint and other contaminants in toys your children might stick in their mouth, that's understandable. Media is all over the question raising fear levels so it is reasonable that people are scared of the idea. You may be testing toys or checking for recalls, but I'll bet you're not looking into your medicine chest.

McClatchy Papers takes a look at your medicine, not your patent medicines, your prescription drugs. The stuff that is supposed to be so safe because it's made in the US. Well sort of made in the USA.
China's booming pharmaceutical industry has doubled exports to the United States in the past five years, undercutting competitors and making American consumers reliant on the safety of Chinese factories and captive to any disruptions in Sino-U.S. commerce.

There might be an end to outsourcing and in sourcing, there might be but don't hold your breath. You might think with the number of drugs and precursors and other components that there would be some FDA involvement, you'd be wrong.

The Chinese and Indian companies are all but exempt from oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Only 13 inspections were conducted in China in 2007," Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said at a hearing Nov. 1. "At this rate, it would take the FDA 55 years just to clear this backlog."

The Chinese took some action after it was revealed that the head of the drug agency was taking kickbacks resulting in a counterfeit drug that cost 13 lives. This was supposed to reassure the global market. So all is well?

Although Chinese authorities warn against foreign finger-pointing, the government's own reaction to the scandal over bogus and substandard drugs earlier this year was extremely harsh.

After drug chief Zheng Xiaoyu's execution, the state began a vast housecleaning. This week, it said it had shut down 300 drug and medical-device makers, convicted 279 people of irregularities and prompted drug companies to withdraw 7,300 applications for drug approval, indicating more rigor in the approval process.

Seems to be a bit of an ongoing problem. Now your kids might stick that toy in their mouths, but I will guarantee that you will swallow that Chinese drug. Good luck with that.

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