Generic Pharma from China and India: Cause of Lower Health Care Costs (and Some Serious Concerns)

Excellent article in today's New York Times Magazine on concerns about importation of generic drugs from China (and to a lesser extent India.)  The article begins by noting that generics of aspirin and acetaminophen (Tylenol) just aren't made in American or European factories anymore.   The ability of an Indian company to provide anti-HIV medication for $80 per year (as opposed to $1500 for brand names) has meant life for millions in Sub-Saharan Africa.  On the other hand, over half of the anti-malarial drugs sold in southeast Asia have no active ingredients!

Generics are critical to keeping down the cost of health care.   However, we need meaningful regulation to help us achieve these cost savings without endangering health.