Many of the generic drug companies that Americans and Africans alike depend on, hold a dark secret: they routinely adjust their manufacturing standards depending on the country buying their drugs, a practice that could endanger not just those who take the lower-quality medicine but the population at large.
It's been reported that these companies send their highest-quality drugs to markets with the most vigilant regulators, such as the U.S. and the European Union. They send their worst drugs — made with lower-quality ingredients and less scrupulous testing — to countries with the weakest review.
Some companies claim that, while their drugs are all high-quality, there may be some variance in how they are produced because regulations differ from market to market.
Dr. Gordon Donnir, former head of the psychiatry department at the Komfo Anokye teaching hospital in Kumasi, treats middle-class Ghanaians in his private practice and says that almost all the drugs his patients take are substandard, leading him to increase his patients’ doses significantly. While his European colleagues typically prescribe 2.5 milligrams of haloperidol (a generic form of Haldol) several times a day to treat psychosis, he’ll prescribe 10 milligrams, also several times a day, because he knows the 2.5 milligrams “won’t do anything.”
In conclusion, although the low cost of generic drugs makes them essential to global public health, if those bargain drugs are of low quality, they do more harm than good. So please be aware and vigilant.
Source: Time Magazine and npr.org