Do you remember when Ted Kennedy first proposed that doctors should be obligated to write prescriptions for generics instead of brand named drugs to save money?  The public was told that generics were just as effective.

This may not actually be the case!

Katherine Eban has written an article called “Dirty Medicine where she exposes a drug manufacturer in India, Ranbaxy,  who was recently fined half a billion dollars.  They received approval by the FDA to make a whole array of generics for Americans but was caught diluting them to make more money.

Lipitor,  a  popular drug to control cholesterol levels was one of the adulterated medications (including several lots that had glass shards in them last year)

The questions that need to be asked are as follows:

  • Why didn’t the FDA protect us?
  • What recourse do the families of injured or dead patients have from the bogus pills?
  • Why is Ranbaxy allowed to stay in business and still provide drugs to American instead of merely paying fines?
  • What is to prevent Ranbaxy from performing harmful acts in the future?
  • Who gets the money from the fines?
  • Where are the generic medications being manufactured?  Are they being shipped from abroad?
  • Are you currently taking a generic for a condition that can be life-threatening?

Does this company merely represent the tip of the iceberg with other generic companies falsifying drug contents and concentrations?

If you are taking generics for an infection and not improving, you could always switch the medications that you are on.  But, what if you are on medications to control abnormal heart beats  or epileptic seizures?  One ineffective dose of medications may be all that is necessary to make the difference between life and death!

Perhaps it is time for us to question the wisdom of our insurance companies to insist on us getting generics.  After all, if we are not improving medically, and need more drugs and more tests, are they really saving any money?