About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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July 13, 2007

Pour Encourager Les Autres

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Posted by Derek

There have been a couple of drug safety issues here in the US over the last few years - you may have heard about one or two of them. Less well known, unless you're in the industry, have been the fines that some companies have paid for deficiencies on their manufacturing end. Schering-Plough's $500 million dollar one about five years ago is one of the most memorable, but there have been others.

But other countries have different approaches to drug safety. And if their regulatory apparatus breaks down in some way, they have, well. . .different approaches to enforcement. Don't look for a Washington think-tank to advocate this method any time soon, although there are times that I'm really glad that it won't come to a vote.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Current Events


1. Hap on July 13, 2007 12:34 PM writes...

I would guess that methods such as this don't really discourage cheating - they discourage getting caught, which could occur either by having failed to pay bribes to the appropriate officials or by paying them correctly while being part of an internationally known fiasco (and being the least important member so that you can be sacrificed without consequence). Of course, one then has to wonder why idiots were selling diethylene glycol as glycerol (they called it "TM-glycerol" or something close, but claimed they told the buyers that it was really diethylene glycol - mmmkay?) - considering previous incidents with the stuff in cough syrup, it's hard to figure how any food use of the material they sold was not going to make a big stink somewhere (and thus how they were going to avoid these kind of repercussions). If the Chinese gov't has a significant hand in these types of businesses, then this is really just a lot of sound and fury, signifying not much at all to consumers (and , "Remember to pay your bribesXXXXXXuser fees." to the company officials and government employees).

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2. Anonymous BMS Researcher on July 13, 2007 6:10 PM writes...

I read somewhere that in ancient Rome, for the entire first day a new bridge was in service the guy in charge of its construction had to stand under it.

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3. eugene on July 14, 2007 7:20 PM writes...

This has not very much to do with improving drug and food safety in China, but a lot to do with improving the 'Made in China' brand right before the Olympics and in general so that others keep buying from the presumed Communists. That guy wasn't killed for endangering others or taking bribes, he was killed for hurting a brand.

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4. PG on July 16, 2007 5:06 AM writes...

In reply to BMS Researcher: following this roman tradition, should we require everyone involved in bringing a new compound to clinical trial to 'volunteer' in stage I?

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5. Devices R Us on July 16, 2007 3:25 PM writes...

In our device lab, the engineers who develop the new devices typically are the first to try them out. Particularly fun when you are trying out new types of needle insertion tools.

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