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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Tainted Puerto Rican pills hit U.S. mainland

    By MICHAEL MELIA
    updated 3:32 p.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 5, 2008
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The first warning sign came when a sharp-eyed worker sorting pills noticed that the odd blue flecks dotting the finished drug capsules matched the paint on the factory doors.
    After the flecks were spotted again on the capsules, a blood-pressure medication called Diltiazem, the plant began placing covers over drugs in carts in its manufacturing areas.
    But the factory owner, Canadian drug maker Biovail Corp., never tried to find out whether past shipments of the drug were contaminated — or prevent future contamination, according to U.S. regulators.
    Thirteen of the 20 best-selling drugs in the United States come from plants on this island. But an investigation by The Associated Press has found dozens of examples over four years of lapses in quality control in the Puerto Rican pharmaceutical industry, which churns out $35 billion of drugs each year, most of it for sale as part of the $300 billion market in the U.S.
    An AP review of 100 pages of Food and Drug Administration reports shows even modern drug plants here under the watch of U.S. regulators have failed to keep laboratories sterile and have exported tainted pills.
    "People would be shocked to find this whole variety of contamination," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Washington watchdog group Public Citizen. "The common denominator of all these is there's really poor quality control."
    FDA officials say the problems in Puerto Rico are proportionate with the large number of pharmaceutical plants here and generally no worse than those on the U.S. mainland.
    Consumer advocates say they demonstrate the regulatory agency does not sufficiently monitor the industry across Puerto Rico and in the mainland.

    13 of the 20 best-selling drugs in the U.S. are made in the Puerto Rico:
    — Lipitor (Pfizer) _ high cholesterol
    — Zocor (Merck) _ high cholesterol
    — Plavix (BMS Sanofi) _ blood thinner
    — Aranesp (Amgen) _ anemia
    — Zoloft (Pfizer) _ depression
    — Epogen (Amgen) _ anemia
    — Enbrel (Amgen) _ rheumatoid arthritis
    — Procrit (Ortho Biotech) _ anemia
    — Norvasc (Pfizer) _ high blood pressure
    — Neulasta (Amgen) _ low white blood cells in chemotherapy
    — Effexor XR (Wyeth) _ depression
    — Zyprexa (Eli Lilly) _ schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
    — Risperdal (Janssen) _ schizophrenia, bipolar disorder



    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23015123

    This is getting ridiculous

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    Thanks, I'm printing this up for my husband; he takes some of those cholesterol and bloodpressure meds.

    I had no idea our pills were made in Puerto Rico! I thought Canada or U.S. for some reason. Or Europe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    on top of shale bedrock
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    OMG! Little blue flecks of Paint? Could that be lead based paint, by any chance? Would they tell us? This is appalling!
    Thank you so much for this alert csds703.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex View Post
    Thanks, I'm printing this up for my husband; he takes some of those cholesterol and bloodpressure meds.

    I had no idea our pills were made in Puerto Rico! I thought Canada or U.S. for some reason. Or Europe.
    And if some of them are made in Puerto Rico this is appalling because?????

    The article states:
    FDA officials say the problems in Puerto Rico are proportionate with the large number of pharmaceutical plants here and generally no worse than those on the U.S. mainland.
    Consumer advocates say they demonstrate the regulatory agency does not sufficiently monitor the industry across Puerto Rico and in the mainland.

    This means that it is not monitored properly here in the mainland OR in Puerto Rico.

    I'm not saying defending the plant over there, because it ticks me off too as my husband takes BP medication, but I suppose the comment coming off as appalled that a pharm consumed by the US is being manufactured in PR kinda upset me, it is not a third world country and it is a property of the US and generally has good QC. If I mistook your statement...then my apologies to you. I am from PR, btw.

    Sorry, couldn't get the darned bold to turn off!! LOL! I kept clicking it off but when I'd start typing it would come back on, what's up with that?



    I once was lost, but now I'm found and I don't know how I survived without Milk Bones and fluffy pillows...Frank (a loving rescued dog)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Louisiana
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    I am sending this to my mother and my sister. Thanks for the heads up csds!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    on top of shale bedrock
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    catsmeow-
    I used the word appalling, not Marthatex and I was referring to the possibility of the paint being lead based. Not where it was made.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    358
    Quote Originally Posted by panglossian View Post
    catsmeow-
    I used the word appalling, not Marthatex and I was referring to the possibility of the paint being lead based. Not where it was made.
    Hi Panglo, thanks, I did know that...I was actually more so referring to this 'I had no idea our pills were made in Puerto Rico!', as I suppose it came across as it sounded awful that some our pills were. But I also don't want to go and make something out of nothing. I hate dramz...If it wasn't meant bad, please don't make anything of my comment.
    I once was lost, but now I'm found and I don't know how I survived without Milk Bones and fluffy pillows...Frank (a loving rescued dog)

  8. #8
    OneLostGrl's Avatar
    OneLostGrl is offline I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane
    Join Date
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    lovely.. just friggin' great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    san diego
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex View Post
    Thanks, I'm printing this up for my husband; he takes some of those cholesterol and bloodpressure meds.

    I had no idea our pills were made in Puerto Rico! I thought Canada or U.S. for some reason. Or Europe.
    Hey Martha! I don't mean to pick on you, but Puerto Rico is the U.S.



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