Politics

Contamination of China-Made Heart Drug Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

China Chinese spies currency communistContamination of a key drug used for treating high blood pressure and heart failure has caused a worldwide recall. An expert who has been sounding an alarm over the growing reliance by the United States on Chinese-made medicines said this is just another case highlighting the extensive problems of pharmaceuticals made in China.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on July 13 the recall of 29 types of single and 51 types of combination valsartan medicines.

The recall followed the same move by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on July 5 when it was informed by China’s Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical—a major global manufacturer of generic valsartan—that the drug had been contaminated by a substance called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which could cause cancer.

Valsartan contamination could have started as early as 2012 according to European regulators, who speculated that it was caused by Zhejiang Huahai changing its manufacturing processes at that time. This also means that for six years, a large number of patients worldwide likely have been exposed to the cancer-causing element in their valsartan.

Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical did not respond to The Epoch Times’ repeated requests for comment. The company, which sold $50 million worth of valsartan in 2017 alone, acknowledged in a public statement that some of its valsartan was definitely contaminated, although it did not give out any additional details.

Rosemary Gibson, a senior adviser at The Hastings Center and an author of several books on health care issues, told The Epoch Times that the case is just the latest scandal showing how defective medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients made by Chinese manufacturers are becoming a health care hazard and even a national security threat for the United States.

“There is a lack of trust in medicines made in China now,” Gibson said. “The public wants their medicine to be safe. This carcinogen hidden in valsartan raises the question whether other products that are made in China have been made contrary to the global standard we came to accept.”

According to the annual report by U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), China has been a prolific source of counterfeit and defective medicine. The Chinese regime’s regulators have proven to be incapable of cracking down on bad medicines, and many Chinese consumers prefer U.S. pharmaceutical products due to concerns over the quality of domestic ones.

Threat to National Security

Zhejiang Huahai was one of the first Chinese companies to be approved to sell generic drugs in the United States, and it remains one of China’s largest exporters of pharmaceuticals to the U.S. and European markets.

Gibson said the problem was not limited to Zhejiang Huahai. The valsartan contamination highlights the general issues of quality and consumer protection for Americans who rely on generic drugs manufactured by China, she said.

“The American and European public have to realize China doesn’t have consumer protection laws like we do,” Gibson said. “If consumers here want to file a lawsuit against a Chinese company, they are out of luck.”

China has been rapidly expanding its pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and is now the maker of thousands of drugs found in U.S. hospitals and pharmacies. It could soon overtake India as the dominant manufacturer of generic drugs in the United States.

According to Gibson, the growing reliance on medicines made in China poses a national security hazard for America. The United States has locked into a strategic competition with the Chinese regime, which is adopting increasingly aggressive foreign policies and military expansions.

“We need to view medicine as a strategic asset, just like how we view oil and energy supply,” Gibson said. “A strategic asset is something that will make our country fall apart if we don’t have it.”

In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times in May, Rosemary Gibson discussed her new book “China RX: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” co-authored with Janardan Prasad Singh, which documented what has led to China’s increasing dominance in the manufacturing of medicine and the consequences for the United States and the world.

Gibson and Singh detail how the Chinese regime has overtaken—and in some cases, put out of business—many key U.S. and global drug companies by undercutting and stealing from competitors, and cutting corners.

Medicine is listed among the top 10 items in the “Made in China 2025” plan, an aggressive industrial strategy the Chinese regime rolled out in 2015 that outlined China’s industrial policy for catching up and surpassing rivals like the United States, Japan, and Germany across a wide array of technological competitions.

The strategy explicitly laid out Beijing’s playbook is to provide massive state subsidies and support to Chinese manufacturers to help them capture the global market, while using protectionist policies at home to exclude foreign competitors from importing products.

From The Epoch Times - by Paul Huang

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Furlin
2 years ago

Why would we want to allow any other country than the US to make our medications?

Wayne Peterkin
2 years ago

I try to be a reasonable and rational individual who comments pretty regularly. But as someone who believes that China has very little respect for human life and especially life outside of China but only great respect for the wealth of the ruling class along with growing worldwide domination, I would favor completely cutting off any drug made in China or any other drugs containing components originating from China. I don’t consider this a “trade” issue at all, simply an issue of American safety. I already refuse to eat any food from there for the same reason. They aren’t clean… Read more »

Bo Dalton
2 years ago

It would be nice, if you would obtain the names and usage of all “EFFECTED” drugs and publish them so we would all know !!

Kim
2 years ago

Let’s see….drywall….dog food….baby formula….insects hiding in packaging…..When will we learn that EVERYthing from China needs to be quarantined??! Better yet, steal THEIR intellectual property, if they didn’t already steal it from US, and get some of the manufacturing going here! Bring home the pharmaceuticals! Maybe now with more favorable tax laws, we’ll actually see that happen. And no, I don’t condone stealing anything…this just makes me angry. This morning I heard on the radio that a certain company is going to pull out its local bike-sharing operation because it’s not cost-efficient. At the tail end of the segment, it was… Read more »

Peter Fender
2 years ago

Why has the Congress not taken action to protect Americans from this two pronged attack from China?
China gets away with selling us contaminated drugs while they are controlling so much of the prescription drugs that they could easily blackmail us to do their bidding by withholding important drugs from us.

Pat
2 years ago

How did we loose control of our medications ? Are we that stupid!!!!

Joan
2 years ago

Why is China, a known risk in anything they do, making our drugs? Why not “Made In America”?

Carole C
2 years ago

I take Valsartan manufactured by Sol Co, one that has been recalled. Will no American company try to take back the business and keep us from having to try different drugs? I was taking Diovan and the drug company I have my plan through would not pay for this drug because of cost out of their pocket. I was forced to change then for only that reason. I pay in monthly to the drug plan through Humana, than they refused to cover it, moved it into a cost prohibited class. I feel this is very unfair, especially since they took… Read more »

Bob L.
2 years ago

Add herbs, spices and minerals stocked on the vitamins aisle to the list of products from Red China. I’ve been taking some of these “health aids” and recently read the labels on the brand I’ve been buying – yep, product of China, printed right there on the labels. Judging by all of the other contaminated and outright dangerous stuff they are dumping on us, it makes me wonder what I’ve been consuming. Hope I don’t contaminate the landfill when I throw it all away.

Sherie
2 years ago

Is it a surprise to ANYONE that drugs made in China may be hazardous to our health? They want to kill us and what an unrestrained way to accomplish it? I was shocked to find our drugs were being made in China. They hate us, who had the brilliant idea to buy our drugs from China? Why the heck would we do that?

Cora
2 years ago

Is anyone surprised???

Kim below has a good comment…anything from soup to nuts we import from China! Walmart has hundreds of containers on Chinese freight boars sitting on every major harbor in the US! Tons and tons in EACH port!!! Check out the RETURNS in any Walmart – stacks and stacks. I had a stapler fall apart today and since I tossed the receipt, betting they will not take it back…only a month old and haven’t used a row of staples!

Trump is on the right track! GEEZ the liberals are eating him up for every meal.

Angela
2 years ago

I don’t trust anything made in China…even my computer. America can make anything and everything we need and we can trust our American businesses…..wait, I just fell off my chair laughing.

Cora
2 years ago

2 words: the answer to your question….. BIG PHARMA!!!! Our government is bought and paid for by BIS PHARMA!!!! What do you think lobbyists do?

Joseph Seres
2 years ago

Put a 200% tariff on it, and only give it to registered democrats.

suzanne
2 years ago

WHY IN THE WORLD ARE WE BUYING ANYTHING FROM CHINA MUCH LESS MEDICATION? THOSE IN CONGRESS WHO ARE MAKING MONEY FROM CHINA NEED TO STOP IMMEDIATELY. THEY ARE BEHIND THE SCENES MAKING MONEY ON DEALS WITH CHINA, AND IT NEEDS TO STOP NOW! CHINA CANNOT BE TRUSTED FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT THE FACT THAT THEY WANT TO RULE THE WORLD. NO TELLING WHAT THEY HAVE CONTAMINATED. WHY IS JEFF ZUCKERBERG ALLOWED TO DO BUSINESS WITH CHINA? SOMETHING STINKS AND NEEDS TO BE PURIFIED IN ALL DEALINGS WITH CHINA.

Toni Angle
2 years ago

China is corrupt on many levels. They are only in it for money and power now, they have no ethics or system for enforcing it. The US should have seen this coming. We need to make our own goods. China can stop making any vital product that we stupidly stopped making and gave them rights to. We are culpable for our own greed and profits (short term gains). I for one am willing to pay more if it means our citizens have jobs and we can depend on the claims made about various products. Wake up America.

Just Steve
2 years ago

How many tainted products does America have to get from China before we wake the hell up? Pet foods that kill our fur babies. Childrens toys with lead paint on them. The childrens aqua-dots toy with date rape drug in the glue.Bad drywall that makes us slowly sick over time, The list goes on. If America insists on using China made goods, we need to impose enough import tariff to do product testing before goods are distributed. And I mean a sample of each shipment. What a scheme China has where we are paying them for the poison they are… Read more »

Les Jones
2 years ago

Why don’t drugs show “Country of Origin” on the packaging?

Doug
2 years ago

I have found that mechanical parts for automobiles and Motorcycles seem to have a 50 % fail rate. Why is it surprising that there medicines are no better ?

Donna Hildebrandt
2 years ago

The first thing that came to mind is why are we buying drugs (or anything, come to think of it) from China? The U.S. can easily produce ANYTHING our folks need!

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