Bottle of Lies; the Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

Bottle of Lies; the Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom
by Katherine Eban

Reviewed by: Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®

Generics are not the same as the original.

Most people think that a generic drug is identical to the brand name which their doctor prescribes. They are not. And in some cases, they are not even very close.

Sadly, most Americans spend more time selecting their next meal than they spend checking the medications which are, by design, changing their body.

According to Egan, we all need to question the integrity of the generic drug industry, and the drugs you or those you love and care for may be taking.

Generic manufacturers “reverse engineer” the drug molecule and its delivery system. Invariably, the copycat is slightly different. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows for tolerances, with a standard range for all drugs, regardless of how that might impact the efficacy1 of the drug.

The generics don’t go through the same FDA testing applied to the brand name version. In fact, they don’t even get tested with humans at all, before the FDA issues a fast-track approval.

India is becoming the world leader in the manufacture of generic drugs, and as Eban exposes, the native culture fosters an environment of sub-standard manufacturing practices.

Finally, to ensure that manufacturers are maintaining quality processes, they do unannounced inspections, of plants located in the United States. Overseas plants, not so much.

Everyone who ever uses pharmaceutical drugs prescribed by their doctor should read this book to understand the possible consequences of using generics in place of brand name drugs.

Initially, I listened to the Audible version of the book while driving. It was so captivating that I also purchased the Kindle version to read for relaxation. Eban narrates as well as she writes.

1I hate the word “efficacy” [ ef-i-kuh-see ] but it’s used throughout the book and the medical industry. It means “how well it works”, or according to capacity for producing a desired result or effect; effectiveness:
a remedy of great efficacy.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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