Katherine Eban has done extraordinary investigative journalism looking at corruption in the production of generic drugs by the multibillion dollar Indian generic drug manufacturer that makes generic Lipitor.
Here's the article she wrote:Dirty medicine
She talks about how the corruption affects healthcare, all about the FDA and healthcare in America.
Here's a link to the interview Joan Brunwasser did with Eban. It's superb. Investigative Journalist Katherine Eban Exposes Massive Fraud at Generic Lipitor Manufacturer
Very Rough Notes-- mostly questions
Can you give an overview of what you found?
What percentage of the US market comes from Ranbaxy?
sixth largest generic drug company.
Are you talking about all of the drugs that they ship to the US.
What you found was that they systematically and intentionally produced fraudulent results.
Anecdote: ranbaxy antibiotic didn't work on a child. Brand name antiriotic did. This seems emblematic of what happened to millions of people.
Did anybody get arrested?
Was anybody at the FDA held accountable for the failure to protect us from these drugs" that didn't work.
So, there were no convictions".
Did the FDA set up a program to evaluate manufacturing, since
What's the politics behind this?
Under Bush, a Republican controlled congress passed a bill preventing price competition.
When it was discovered that all these drugs tests were fraudulent did the FDA pull the drugs?
That reminds me of the old Woody allen joke: My brother thinks he's a chicken. So, why don't you take him to a psychiatrist? Because we need the eggs.
Were there hearings in congress on this failure of the FDA to do their job?
Are there any member of congress who have spoken out about it?
Who was in charge of the FDA while this was going on?
Doesn't the FDA charge for the inspections?
What's involved in the commitment and investment from your employers at Time/Life
Has the FDA been cooperative and helpful with you? How's it been to work with them?
Who's in charge of dealing with overseas drug companies?
inside of ?????? office of generic drugs.
How big is the FDA funding compared to the size of the pharmaceutical industry.
It seems to me that what we have with the FDA is similar to the approach to government by underfunding it, you virtually
Indictment of a whole system that we're all dependent on.
Where is the guy who was head of the FDA while Ranbaxy was producing these drugs that didn't work that probably caused a lot of deaths.
Do you have any ideas on how things should be changed?
And god forbid we should have socialism, like we have with our schools, roads, medicare.
Do you think investigating a story like this is possible with citizen journalism?
What's your company name--
Has CNN covered this on their TV news?
I ask about CNN because it has pharmaceutical advertisers. This has to affect all of the pharmaceutical industries.
Has anyone invited you to speak in front of a committee in congress.
Is there anything readers can do to help you?
I wonder if it's possible to use bottom up approaches to raise the quality of the FDA's
Wow-- (no names of the manufacturer of generic drugs, no requirement of which manufacturer of generics you got.)
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