, 13 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Since #BottleOfLies came out on May 14, I've been flooded with questions by readers, listeners, patients: how can they know where their #genericdrugs are made or whether they’re safe. @BrianLehrer @SamSeder @nprfreshair @democracynow [Thread]
No easy way to answer that question. But…I’ve put together a short guide for the worried + curious: How to Investigate Your Own Drugs. @alt_fda @d_s_thakur @blakeleymusic Below info will be up on my website katherineeban.com soon [2]
Step 1: Find Out Who Manufactures Your Drug. That info is usually on the dispensing label. You can call the pharmacist to ask; that way, you can request a manufacturer change in advance, if need be. (More on that in a min.) @NCLEXprof @PlumHealthDPC [3]
Step 2: Research Manufacturer. Has the company been in trouble with @US_FDA? What does it mean for you? Tough to know for sure, but here’s a place to start: bit.ly/312dWyr From this link, you can find FDA warning letters, which are pretty serious. [4]
Warning letters: Though they read like mumbo-jumbo, one regulatory expert says, be on lookout for 2 big problems: sterility + data integrity. Both issues present can be a flashing red light that a plant is not operating in a state of control. @realGovzilla @pharmacompass [5]
Another note on Step 2: Right now it's almost impossible to find out exactly where your drugs are made. No laws require disclosing country-of-origin manufacturing for drugs or ingredients. This info deemed proprietary. We need new laws. @USPharmacopeia @EnergyCommerce [6]
Then, there’s good old Google. Are other patients complaining about the same drug by the same manufacturer? Here’s one resource at @PeoplesPharmacy, where some of my book research started: bit.ly/2W6Gl2g @JoeGraedon [7]
Step 3: How to Change Manufacturers. So, you don't like what you found out & want to switch to a different Rx maker. 1st: go to FDA Orange Book bit.ly/2QDsoYy to figure out, who else makes your drug? 2nd: talk to your pharmacist about switching. @pharmacists [8]
Quick tip: you can look for an "authorized generic." That’s a generic authorized by the brand name co. & more likely to be made using the same formula, time-release mechanism, same additional ingredients (sometimes even made in the same plant). [9]
Step 4: Pay Attention to Symptoms and Side Effects. Did your pharmacists switch you to a new Rx of the same drug? Do you have new symptoms/side effects? Keep track of which specific generics work for you, and demand to stay on those. @RalphNader @AmerMedicalAssn [10]
Step 5: Educate Your Docs & Pharmacists. Some MDs are aware of this issue, esp. those who prescribe drugs that require precise dosing. Others are not. Educate them. @AANMember @TheAACE @ACCinTouch
Feeling frustrated? Overwhelmed? Need more info? Pick up a (fresh) copy of #BottleofLies today at your favorite book retailer: bit.ly/2WxMlCI [End]
P.S. Additional resources: this guide is now up on my website here bit.ly/2wB94lL; @alt_fda has a great thread on ID'ing fake meds bit.ly/2Xn6BHf; and correct link to FDA Orange Book here bit.ly/2o04xoA
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