Cover art for podcast Radio Health Journal

Radio Health Journal

803 EpisodesProduced by Mediatracks CommunicationsWebsite

Listen to Radio Health Journal to get the latest scoop on what’s trending in health, science and technology, and the intersection of medicine and public policy. Each week we speak with leading experts to break down the complex medical jargon and report on a timely topic. Did you know ecstasy could h… read more


Generic Drug Safety

Since the 1980’s, almost all production of generic drugs has moved overseas, where FDA inspectors have a much tougher time making sure they’re following rules for safety. Slightly more than half of all Americans take prescription drugs, and 90 percent of those drugs are generic.

The FDA inspects health regulations and data in drug manufacturing companies to ensure the safety and quality of the environment and the actual drugs. Unfortunately some companies worry less about the safety of the people using the drugs and more about speedy production and high profit margins.

Investigative journalist Katherine Eban uncovers the alarming level of fraud and deception that some generic drug companies have achieved in her new book, Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom.

Eban conducted research for the book by following an FDA inspector through the process of exposing fraudulent practices at Indian and Chinese generic drug manufacturing plants. According to Eban, this investigator saw past the diversions, looking at the internal computer systems where he uncovered clear-cut data tampering. It turns out there was fraudulent quality data in 67 of the 86 plants the FDA inspector investigated in India and China over five years.

But it’s more than just data tampering. Basic health regulations like maintaining a sterile environment are often violated. Eban says there are cases where work spaces don’t even have bathrooms with running water, making it impossible for the employees to wash their hands.

Part of this problem is globalization. It’s harder for the FDA to investigate international plants. According to Eban, they’re often given notice a month or more in advance of an upcoming inspection, while companies in the United States have inspectors stop-in without any prior knowledge. Some Chinese companies will even pool resources to set up “show” plants, causing regulators to inspect manufacturers completely independent from the intended locations. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Italy, the FDA relies entirely on inspectors from those countries.

As it stands, patients are at the mercy of the companies producing the final product that’s handed to them at the drugstore. It’s nearly impossible to test every single pill as it comes into the U.S., and that’s why Eban says it’s so crucial that the common practice of fabricating fraudulent manufacturing data is curbed.

So what can be done? Right now, the onus is on consumers to research the companies producing our generics. Eban says the easiest way to do this is find the name of the manufacturer on your prescription label, then Google it along with the terms ‘FDA’ and ‘warning letter’. In some cases, that’s the most that can be done, at least until laws are changed. Further information can be found at


  • Katherine Eban, author, Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

Links for more information:

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Radio Health Journal


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens