India is slowly making its way to being one of the biggest exporters of the American drug supply chain. Proving problematic are the ways in which production of pharmaceuticals is being handled overseas. Due to issues involving counterfeit production, safety measures and fabricated test results for drug testing, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set out to improve methods in India. That has translated into production that has been slowed, almost to a halt. That means severe economic consequences for consumers in the US.
American officials, in an attempt to change circumstances, have met with both generic and leading drug makers to discuss how the obstacles can be overcome. Working with Indian pharmaceutical companies to improve their safety measures and to boost their quality control, the FDA hopes to increase confidence in Indian pharmaceuticals. There are many in India who are questioning the higher security measures and suspect that there is something more ominous in play. Concerned that the new proposed inspections are going to raise the costs for those who need the drugs around the world, many are opposing the new stringent controls.
India supplies over 200 counties with lifesaving drugs around the world. Due to inspections that indicate as many as one in five drugs do not meet safety standards, agencies like the World Health Organization have joined in the campaign. The safety of drugs cannot only fail to provide people with the medication they need to live; in some instances, deaths from bad drugs have been reported. Some drugs which have been banned in the US are still being openly sold on the Indian market, increasing the risk of harm for potential victims in India and globally. Only the future will tell whether India is up to the challenge of increasing the quality of their drug manufacturing and thereby increasing consumer confidence.