Walmart’s $4 Drugs Coming From Indian Company Whose Products Have Been Banned In US and Canada

Not So Smiley

A New Report from supports the use of generic prescription drugs as a safe alternative to expensive, name-brand medications. Walmart’s use of a corporate bad actor to cut costs, however, deserves significant scrutiny.

Walmart is heavily promoting a program of 30-day supplies of generic drugs for $4, pointing to the program as an indicator of the company’s leadership on making healthcare more affordable. To profit on $4 dollar prescriptions, Walmart is importing drugs from foreign countries, including India. Walmart competitor Costco went a different direction in late 2006, when it ended its $4 dollar prescription drug plan because it was losing money selling prescription drugs at such a low price. Costco switched to selling 100 pills for $10.

One of Walmart’s Indian drug suppliers, Ranbaxy Laboratories, LTD, has been repeatedly investigated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice for “inadequate” safeguards against contamination, falsification of records and submitting false information to the FDA. Eight months before the FDA inspected Ranbaxy’s Paonta Sahib plant and found significant violations, Walmart awarded the company a “Supplier Award” for improving shipping times and performance.

In 2008, the FDA banned importation of drugs manufactured at two of Ranbaxy’s plants, and in 2009, the FDA halted review of applications to import drugs manufactured at the Paonta Sahib plant. Soon thereafter, Canada followed suit and banned importation of drugs manufactured at that facility.

Yet Walmart still imports generic drugs made by Ranbaxy at its other Indian facilities.

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Comments (1)

I took a generic form of bactrim, the name was not in my “Nurses Drug handbook” so I went on line and foundit came from India. I have taken Bactrim before and in it’s American generic form without any side effects. This time I experianced intense itching, joint pains and no improvment in the condition originally prescribed for. As a Nurse I was alarmed, 10 days on medication and I was sicker thn when I started, Beware if it’s not in PDR as a generic, question it. I wrote to Wal-mart and so far have not had an answer, now looking for a pharmacy that does not fill Medicare Rx’s with junk, ie; foregn drugs.

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