An investigation by the Associated Press (AP) has uncovered evidence of widespread quality control problems in pills produced in Puerto Rico, a region that manufactures many of the prescription medications sold in America. Puerto Rico has one of the highest concentrations of pharmaceutical factories in the world, producing $35 billion worth of drugs each year. The United States, with its $300-billion annual drug market, is the island’s primary customer, and 13 of the country’s top 20 selling drugs are produced in Puerto Rico.
But an AP review of FDA documents finds widespread contamination problems at Puerto Rican pill factories, which have led to the export and sale of tainted and potentially unsafe medications. The documents reviewed concerned FDA inspections of 13 Puerto Rican factories between 2003 and 2007, accounting for approximately half of the pill factories on the island.
“People would be shocked to find this whole variety of contamination,” said Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen. “The common denominator of all these is there’s really poor quality control.”
This is especially interesting given that the FDA has acted to protect Big Pharma’s monopoly drug pricing scheme in the United States by claiming that pills imported from Canada, Mexico or other countries might be unsafe due to contamination or poor quality control. Therefore, the FDA claims, American consumers should be forced to pay the highest prices in the world for drugs sold at monopoly prices in the United States. And yet we’re now finding that even those drugs sold in U.S. pharmacies aren’t manufactured here, and they may be even more dangerous than the same medications purchased from Canada.