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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Tha le
4 years ago

Every American need to say No with food &medecin makes from China.

4 years ago

Bought apple juice and it tasted strange – like it was fermented. As I read the container It said it was made from concentrate from China! This print wasn’t on the label! It was in small print on the plastic bottle along with the best buy date! When I went to buy juice again I discovered many of the apple juices were made from apples from China or apple concentrate from China. With all the apples grown in this country – we can’t produce our own apple juice!!!

4 years ago

I cannot understand how we can allow food or drugs to be sold in the U.S. that is produced in countries that are hostile to us or that lack the safeguards that we have in our food and drug industries. I am pretty sure politicians and other wealthy people purchase mostly U.S. made consumables to help ensure their family’s health and safety. How many people ask what country their medication is produced in?

4 years ago

The CLINTONS forced the “evil” USA’s drug companies to move their production to China if you all know
your recent history.

Carol Click
4 years ago

I have always been uneasy knowing some of our drugs are made in China. Remember the baby formula that contained a chemical that should never be given to children? If China will allow that type of food to be dispersed what will keep them from putting harmful chemicals in our medicine? China wants to dominate the world so it only makes sense that they should try to ruin the competition.

Amelia Little
4 years ago

So, can US citizens sue the Chinese companies like they do the US companies? Or, maybe the medications are distributed by US companies. I know there are countries where probably the main (and maybe the only) reason pharmaceutical companies are not sued is because they are government run and they can’t sue the government. Anyway, there are many medications that cost fractions of a cent to manufacture, and if companies would sell them at reasonable costs, maybe China couldn’t undersell them. I know, there is overhead, materials, etc etc etc. Oh, and a cost factored in medications in the US actually is related to the numbers of attorneys and law clerks (salary and time spent) because of the insane litigation against them. Sure, there are some that do qualify for a lawsuit, but not the ones where the complaint registered is actually amongst the various side effects and possibilities listed for the drug. Between the exorbitant cost of medications, the ugly side effects, the possibility of contamination, a more holistic view of treating many conditions certainly looks as a good possibility.

T. Mooney
4 years ago

So we are now substituting Olmesartan manufactured by Torrent Pharmaceuticals in India!

4 years ago

Claims like these lead me to to believe and confirm my own thoughts on doing biz with a communist country who does not have your best interest in mind…The PRC tried to poison pets by their intentional neglect and then again with toothpaste, then toys and there is little recourse to force them to do the right thing…..Made in the USA is a great theme and it works for me………..Communist is just another way to spell criminal……..MAGA is the goal…….America for Americans is a fact….

Brenda p
4 years ago

Anything that goes in our mouth, I won’t get from China….try to find kids snippy cups etc that a enjoy made in China….I did find one brand made in US and a brand with ce meaning European standards which are more stringent than ours…..most water canteens are made in China…..won’t buy their crap

4 years ago

Does anyone even see the danger to the U.S A. of this! We and China ARE NOT friends so don’t kid yourself. They will do whatever they can get away with to hobble our systems. We shouldn’t import ANY drugs from ANY other countries into our country if we care at all for our own people. Talk about a big fast way to hobble our systems and military. Any ‘dictator country’ cannot be trusted!

Lewis Fulk
4 years ago

As I understand it, 80% of all drugs now come from China. The Chinese have even been buying up small US makers so to cut competition by closing them down. People would be surprised to learn there is no company in America that makes penicillin any more. The frightening thing is if the US/China relationship sours, they could cut off our medical supply putting many people’s lives in danger! Read a story of a doctor that went to the hospital recently for a routine test. The test required a drug to be injected to complete the test. An hour later all his organs had shut down and he was on life support. The drug was made in China and was contaminated. He survived (barely) after having to receive several transplants. I know we all want drugs that are reasonably priced and don’t expect it will ever come from Bid Pharma, but this is terrible! At least set up a testing program to insure what we are getting from foreign countries is safe!

Michelle Dostie
4 years ago

Why should the public be aware of China not have consumer protection laws, as the article states? Do not our tax dollars filund the FDA who ostensibly works on our behalf to ensure our pharmaceutical supply is safe? Approving facilities here and abroad, and allowing contracts is their responsibility. In this they have clearly failed.

4 years ago

Anything made in China is deadly look found lead in baby clothing and in slow cookers all from China was told years ago the meds. we get from China and over seas is not good they even cheat on generics that is probably the reason I can’t take most generics and most don’t even work, toys from China have been found to have lead in them Common Sense when is this gov. Going to stop this garbage from coming to America

4 years ago

As long as the insurance company’s control what drugs they will pay for China will always be the supplier. the insurance industry is only concerned with it’s profit they care not if it kills you.

4 years ago
Reply to  Larry

Absolutely right! Ask your pharmacist where your generic drug came from. Ask if the Brand Name is made here. Pay a little more if you have to. Live longer and complain louder.

4 years ago

I do not trust most things coming out of China. China does not need to be a super power, we are bringing in items that will kill or poison us from within, we are spending our hard earned money to do it. We need to STOP buying crap from China.
Lead and other items in toys https://www.industryweek.com/global-economy/made-china-tops-eu-list-unsafe-products
Chinese drywall https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chinese-drywall-problems-health-effects-32402.html
Made in China: Seven toxic imports http://theweek.com/articles/498611/made-china-seven-toxic-imports

4 years ago


Donna Hildebrandt
4 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!

4 years ago

And many don’t want tariffs on China? Many believe what they tell you? Let ME tell you. My husband has been on t his damn drug for years and only by chance of a friend posting on FB the entire article a month ago about this, WE WOULD NEVER HAVE KNOWN. Yes, he used this damn pharmacy. Yes we are concerned but at least our drug provider caught it and moved him to a legitimate company. Time for this country to get off their butts and stop using foreign entities to produce cheap crap! What is next? With our knowledge and so-called advancements, the FDA needs to approve drugs that are truly safe. Give us all a break and stop the garbage from killing our people.

Toni Angle
4 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.

4 years ago
Reply to  Toni Angle

Ibelieve this all started with NAFTA, thanks to Bill Clinton

4 years ago

It should be REQUIRED that the source of any component in a drug be PRINTED PLAINLY ON THE BOTTLE!!!
We shouldn’t have to search for that info AT ALL!

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