Several decades ago, penicillin, vitamin C, and many other prescription and over-the-counter products were manufactured in the United States. But with the rise of globalization, antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, blood pressure medicines, cancer drugs, among many others are made in China and sold in the United States. China's biggest impact on the US drug supply is making essential ingredients for thousands of medicines found in American homes and used in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms. The authors convincingly argue that there are at least two major problems with this scenario. First, it is inherently risky for the United States to become dependent on any one country as a source for vital medicines, especially given the uncertainties of geopolitics. For example, if an altercation in the South China Sea causes military personnel to be wounded, doctors may rely upon medicines with essential ingredients made by the adversary. Second, lapses in safety standards and quality control in Chinese manufacturing are a risk. Citing the concerns of FDA officials and insiders within the pharmaceutical industry, the authors document incidents of illness and death caused by contaminated medications that prompted reform. This probing book examines the implications of our reliance on China on the quality and availability of vital medicines.
About the Author
Rosemary Gibson has been credited with creating national movements for safer, more humane health care. Her first book, Wall of Silence, with co-author Janardan Prasad Singh, put a human face on medical mistakes, launching a national campaign to improve the safety of America's health care. Gibson worked with Bill Moyers on the PBS documentary On Our Own Terms. She is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is also the founding editor of a narrative series in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine. She is senior advisor at the Hastings Center and the 2014 winner of the highest honor from the American Medical Writers Association. She is also the author, with Janardan P. Singh, of three other books on health care. Janardan Prasad Singh is economic advisor at the World Bank. He designs strategies to strengthen economic development, health care, global trade, and national security for countries around the world. He has served as an advisor to prime ministers of India on national security affairs. Formerly, he was a member of the Board of Contributors of the Wall Street Journal.