It seems as though everything functions around the almighty dollar.Â Trying to produce large quantities of product with little investment has become a focus for many companies who are just trying to save a buck or two. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry isnâ€™t immune to the problem.Â As the world has seen a recent spike in the number of drug recalls, many have begun to wonder whatâ€™s changed.Â It is a simple answer really–drug manufacturers are doing all they can to save money and because of that, they are producing sub-par products which end up being recalled for a variety of reasons.
In 2008, there were a modest number of recalls at about 472 for the year. In 2009 that number boosted to over 1,700.Â Being fair, I will say that over 1,000 of those recalls came from one specific company that has since closed its doors.Â So even if you donâ€™t include them,Â the number of recalls jumped by almost 50% in one year.
â€œOverall, Iâ€™m concerned about the quality of drugs.â€ says a representative of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education.
One analyst claims that recent years drug recall numbers are nearing the highest on record and calls the data a â€œmeaningful development.â€Â With 2010 seeing hundreds of recalls, the numbers are only expected to climb as companies cut corners to save costs and strive to get ahead.
Recalls have been seen for a variety of reasons–mislabeling, smells in bottles and even particulate–or unidentified materials found in medications.Â Not to mention all of the medications that have been pulled after serious side effects have been linked to them.Â Some so serious it has resulted in permanent injuries or death.
As the pharmaceutical industry strives in a highly competitive market, each company is doing their best to stay ahead of the game. In an attempt to save pennies many are outsourcing the manufacturing and other necessary processes to third party companies–third parties that have proven to be unsafe.Â In fact, as Lipitor faces its third recall of thousands of bottles in recent months, its maker is blaming a third party shipping company for the musty smells found in the packaging and claims that they have severed ties with the under-performing company.
Many companies are skimping on costly quality control as well–skimping on testing in an attempt to bring the first drug of its kind to the market has resulted in a rat race that is only hurting the consumer.Â The multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry isnâ€™t hurting for money when compared to everyone else, but they are doing all they can to skimp on every penny.