Sunday, March 9, 2008

Importing Pharmaceuticals - Now That's a Bad Idea

From a few days ago here,
China's drug safety agency, commenting on a probe into the recalled drug heparin, said Wednesday it enforces strict controls on chemicals used in pharmaceuticals, but that importing countries are ultimately responsible for ensuring product safety.

So instead of testing the batch in China, we are expected to test the final products. Are they serious? To test a batch only requires a relatively small sample of a large homogenous mixture. This essentially guarantees that all samples will be the same. On the other hand, once a batch has been divided (be it tablets, pills, bottles, whatever), you can not know if one or more part gets contaminated, without testing every item, which is, of course, impractical.

But, given what has happened over the past year or so, can we trust a test done by China? I don't think so. But even so, while I hate to admit it, I agree with the statement above by China. We are resposible for the safety of our products.

So if we are responsible for the safety of our products, and we can not trust tests done by other countries, and can not practically test the products once they get here, I draw a conclusion that I suspect the Chinese would disagree with. I conclude that we should not import phamaceuticals!

1 comment:

Jacob the Syrian Hamster said...

When the price of lead goes up, I'm going to buy Chinese products like crazy! I'll be rich, I tells ya, rich!