Puerto Rican Drug Factories Fail in Quality Control

Some might dismiss the healdline of this blog post except for the fact that 13 of the 20 most popular drugs taken on the mainland are manufactured in Puerto Rico. According to an Associated Press report, the drug factories have consistently failed in terms of maintaining a sterile environment and have even shipped tainted pills to the US mainland. This in spite of the fact that even the modern facilities are failing. In one incident, an employee started covering exposed pills after noticing the blue specks of the pills matched the paint color of the factory walls! This is not a good sign for a pharmaceutical industry which plans to start manufacturing their drugs overseas where the FDA’s control is severely limited.
The problem is not isolated to pharmaceutical drugs. Medtronic’s recalled Sprint Fidelis defibrillator was manufactured in Puerto Rico and has experienced serious issues with faulty and breaking leads. At this point it appears that the faulty leads with the Sprint Fidelis are attributable to welding.
Yet, these pharmaceutical and medical device companies are always looking to cut costs and increase profits. They are trying to move their operations overseas to capitalize on the cheap labor pool. But this raises a serious consumer safety problem. If we can’t maintain quality standards in the US how do we plan to ensure safety when we’re exporting the drugs and have no regulatory authority?