Foundation takes issue with U.S. drug retailers on labelling, foreign manufacturing practices

China's and India's reputations for the quality of their pharmaceuticals were besmirched in a complaint filed by a foundation with the U.S. FDA against leading U.S. drug store chains. The USA Foundation accused the chains of violating U.S. regulations by not including country of origin on labels.

The complaint said 80% of over-the-counter and generic drugs sold in the United States are imported from China and India, each of them supplying about 40%. It also cited FDA bans on drug imports from India production plants and said they were "often filthy or infested with insects."

The foundation complaint cited a recent interview with the Business Standard newspaper by the Drug Controller General of India, G. N. Singh, who was quoted more than a year ago as saying, "If I have to follow U.S. standards in inspecting facilities supplying to the Indian market, we will have to shut almost all of those."

As for China, the foundation complaint said it had blocked U.S. FDA inspections at the same time it was considered the world's largest producer of counterfeits.

"With all the risks of drugs from China and India," the organization said, "the only way that consumers can protect themselves is to refuse to purchase these risky products." It added that the only way to do that is to let them know their source, on product labels.

- here's the report from USA Foundation
- here's the story from Business Standard