Voters Trust Drugs Made in USA, but Few Are

Publication: USA Today

Author: Rita Rubin


08/02/2010 - More than three out of four voters are confident that prescription drugs made in the USA are free from contamination, while fewer than one in 10 feel confident about medications made in India or China, according to a poll released today by the Pew Charitable Trust's Prescription Project.

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Yet, unbeknownst to many Americans, an estimated 80% of the substances used to make or package drugs sold here are made in other countries, says Allan Coukell, a pharmacist who directs the medical safety portfolio for the Pew Health Group. And a growing proportion come from India or China. In 2007, 68% of ingredients of drugs sold worldwide came from India or China, vs. 49% in 2004.

Not that consumers can tell where medications were made, Coukell says: "When you buy a shirt, it will say right on the label where it was made, but when you get a pharmaceutical, you don't know."

Monitoring far-flung plants presents a logistical challenge to the Food and Drug Administration, Coukell says. "They clearly don't have the people or the resources they need to oversee manufacturing the way it exists today."

Read the full article, Voters Trust Drugs Made in USA, but Few Are on the USA Today Web site.

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