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Life Extension Magazine September 2013
As We See It  

Horrific Conditions Inside Drug Factories

By William Faloon

Potential Lethal Impact of Glaxo’s Abhorrent Lack of Quality Control

One can only imagine the problems that would occur if a depressed individual took a powerful anti-diabetic drug like Avandia, which could inflict acute hypoglycemia. A former employee identified nine instances where the wrong pills were sold, including Avandia® mixed in packages of over-the-counter antacids like Tagamet®.36

For chemotherapy patients who are immune compromised, they could have easily succumbed to an infection without their oncologists ever suspecting it was linked to the anti-nausea drug Kytril, which was not tested to ensure it was free of microbial contamination.

No Jail Time for Glaxo Executives

No Jail Time for Glaxo Executives  

Glaxo denies that any patients were ever harmed by the adulterated drugs they distributed in the United States and also denied that these kinds of problems occurred at its other drug factories.

No one from Glaxo faced criminal charges. I again remind readers that Jay Kimball, who sold a clean product that harmed no one, remains in federal prison. One difference is that Jay Kimball had no money for an attorney and had to represent himself in court (or render himself insolvent defending against FDA’s prejudicial accusations). Pharmaceutical behemoths like Glaxo, on the other hand, spend virtually unlimited money on lobbyists and lawyers and have not faced personal criminal liability for the misdeeds they allowed.

Reputation in Lieu of Regulation

Reputation in Lieu of Regulation  

One reason why horrific quality issues occur at pharmaceutical companies is that few consumers know who makes their prescription drugs.

When your doctor writes a prescription, you take it to your pharmacy and usually get a brown-colored bottle with pills inside. Seldom is the manufacturer’s name stated on the bottle.

Drug companies can thus run their manufacturing facilities with reckless abandon with little reputational risk.

Dietary supplement companies, on the other hand, prominently state their name on the labels of their products.

In a more sensibly-regulated environment, better-operated pharmaceutical companies would prosper as their reputation for quality control became known. Unfortunately, today’s Orwellian regulatory structure has created utter chaos, with retail pharmacies not knowing which generic manufacturer is going to make which generic drug at any given time.

Since we established the Life Extension Pharmacy six years ago, we have learned how dangerous the prescription drug marketplace has become, with counterfeiting, shortages, and quality problems more rampant than reported by the media.

We would prefer that pharmaceutical companies place a higher value on their reputation and instill better quality standards.

Instead, regulatory burdens are so cumbersome that quality control takes a back seat to pleasing bureaucrats who wield unbridled power, but lack the competency to recognize catastrophic problems as occurred with the contaminated steroids made by NECC.

How Much More FDA Failure Will Americans Tolerate?

In 1906, a book called The Jungle was published that described appalling conditions inside America’s meat packing industry. The revelations in this book resulted in the establishment of federal laws that mandated standards of strength, purity, and quality of foods and drugs.

Conditions inside some of America’s drug factories are eerily similar to those described in The Jungle, yet the FDA has been around for more than 100 years! How much longer is the public expected to wait before the FDA effectively spends its $4 billion annual budget on real consumer protection, as opposed to threatening walnut and cherry growers for claiming health benefits of their foods?

No matter how many times the FDA fails to protect consumers against contaminated drugs, there are no calls for meaningful reform.

Instead of recognizing FDA ineptitude, cries ring out to give the FDA more money and power…as Americans perish from contaminated drugs the FDA had the authority to stop!

No Free Market!

No Free Market!  

What the public doesn’t yet understand is that contaminated drugs are the result of draconian regulations that limit free market competition. By restricting drug making to only those controlled by incompetent bureaucrats, the inevitable result will be shortages, poor quality, and high prices.

As I write this article, one of the challenges in dealing with the NECC catastrophe is that there may be new shortages of injectable drugs because there are not enough drug factories in the US to meet patient demand. Shortages create opportunities for unsavory companies to dump even greater amounts of overpriced and contaminated drugs into the bodies of unsuspecting victims.

This kind of problem would not continue in a free market, but ever-increasing regulations are exacerbating the problems of drug shortages, deadly manufacturing practices, and obscenely high prices.

You’ll read in this month’s issue about the quality-control standards we at Life Extension insist on. Unlike those involved in pharmaceutical manufacturing, I and most everyone else at Life Extension consume these nutrients ourselves and would never tolerate the deplorable conditions that exist in certain American drug factories today.

For longer life,

For Longer Life

William Faloon

Senate Bill Seeks to Restrict Consumer Access to Better Drugs!
Senate Bill Seeks to Restrict Consumer Access to Better Drugs!

A battle is raging in the US Senate over whether you will be able to continue to obtain medications that are often more effective and less expensive than what large pharmaceutical companies offer.

On April 16, 2013, the FDA was subpoenaed to appear before Congress to account for the contaminated drugs made at New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECC).

According to the Congressional investigative reports, this unscrupulous manufacturer was allowed to inflict this carnage because the FDA failed to do its job.

Instead of punishing the FDA for its appalling dereliction of duty, the Senate has introduced a bill giving the FDA more power to take away bioidentical hormones and other drugs that are safely being made at compounding pharmacies.

Large pharmaceutical companies are using the NECC fiasco as a ruse to give the FDA more power to stamp out lower-cost competition.

You can easily contact your Senators by logging on to Life Extension’s legislative action website lef.org/lac and sending them a prepared email instructing them to oppose S.959. The provisions contained in S.959 give the FDA the authority to restrict and eliminate the bioidentical hormones upon which millions of women and men depend.

FDA failures have resulted in unprecedented numbers of contaminated drugs poisoning Americans. The absolute worst response to these catastrophes is to give the FDA more power when it utterly botched its job with the draconian authority it already has.

Please send an email alerting your members of Congress to vote NO on Senate bill 959 (S.959).

You can also phone your Senators at 1-877-762-8762 to let your voice be heard.

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