Katherine Eban is an investigative journalist and contributing writer at Fortune Magazine. Her new book is Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom.
“I am not known for my optimism. I think it’s hard to do this work and retain a sunny view of humankind. I hate to say that. On the other hand, I do believe there will always be whistleblowers. And it’s interesting to me that even in the darkest spaces, even when it looks like everything is arrayed against them, there are people who will say: ‘This just isn’t right, and I must do something.’ Which is kind of extraordinary.”
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[08:00] “Bellevue's Emergency” (New York Times Magazine • 1996)
[08:42] “Corrections Officials See Medical Neglect of Rikers Prisoners” (Observer • 1998)
[08:44] “Complaints Prompt Scrutiny of St. Barnabas Hospital” (Observer • 1998)
[12:04] Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom (Ecco • 2019)
[12:28] “Rorschach and Awe” (Vanity Fair • 2007)
[19:23] The Report (2019)
[21:25] Dangerous Doses: A True Story of Cops, Counterfeiters, and the Contamination of America’s Drug Supply (Ecco • 2019)
[25:18] “Pharmacy Fakes” (Self • 2006)
[41:28] “Dirty Medicine” (Fortune • 2013)
[43:10] “Centre Mulling Action to Counter US Journalist's Allegations About Indian Pharma” (The Wire • 2020)
[45:24] “The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal” (Fortune • 2012)
[48:09] Eban's guide to investigating your own drugs
[48:15] Eban's FAQs
Knowledge is power. Join Dr. Berkson's interview with KATHERINE EBAN, an investigative journalist, Fortune magazine contributor, Andrew Carnegie fellow, and New York Time’s best-selling author of Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom and expand your knowledge base. Ms. Eban is known and respected for lecturing on pharmaceutical counterfeiting and pharmaceutical integrity, or lack of it. And… now… generic medications. In this illuminating and must-hear show you will learn: What are generic drugs and what are the concerns with them. Where you can go to figure out the deep dive on your own generic meds. How is the FDA letting us down and what are the conflicts of interest? 80% of our generics are made overseas, mostly in India and China, who often have very serious issues with their chemical plants, contaminants and other complications. The U.S. makes almost none of its own antibiotics anymore. Examples of fraud committed by generic-drug makers at manufacturing plants in India and China include: forging of documents and data to prove that generic drugs are equivalent to brand-name drugs, when they’re not; altering of test parameters so that formulations with higher impurities can be approved; superimposing brand-name test results onto generic results in applications to regulators. Overseas drug companies take extreme measures to evade FDA scrutiny. At one major U.S. hospital center, transplant surgeons found that their patients suffered organ rejection after taking an immunosuppressant medication made by an Indian generic drug company. Poor-quality generic drugs are feeding the epidemic of drug resistance around the world. Links: https://www.katherineeban.com/guide https://www.katherineeban.com/faqs
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Katherine Eban author of Bottle Of Lies, The Inside Story Of The Generic Drug Boom, published in May by Ecco.
Katherine’s resume is too long to recite here, but I’ll give it a go. Katherine is an investigative journalist, a Fortune Magazine contributor and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow as well as a Rhodes scholar. She has also written for Vanity Fair, the NYT, The Nation, the Observer and many other publications.
Her previous work, almost a preface to this one, and just as explosive was Dangerous Doses: A True Story of Cops, Counterfeiters, and the Contamination of America’s Drug Supply.
She lectures frequently on the topic of pharmaceutical integrity—if there is such a thing.
Bottle of Lies is a book that strikes at the heart of the generic drug industry, a behemoth that supplies us formulations that may or may not be equivalent to say Lipitor or Klonopin or Flomax. And these companies control about 90% of our drug supply. Almost all of these companies hail from China or India.
This book is especially poignant for me, because for all of my adult life, when a pharmacist asks me if I would like to buy the generic rather than the branded drug, I always ask for the generic. Why? Because it is a lot cheaper!!
What I didn’t know, and now sadly do, is that the generic pills I buy may be less effective than the ones made by Glaxo or Smith Kline, or weaker, or tainted or made with tiny slivers of metal inside.
One of the many, actually the most egregious of these failures in ethical and FDA standards is Ranbaxy, a company that has failed its customers, has been admonished and fined and still follows nefarious practices.
We learn about whistle blowers, inspections that are primarily useless…even learn about Rod Rosenstein..and more incredulously…Mahatma Ghandi!
This book will change your life and also scare the crap out of you.
Kathryn interviews Investigative Journalist Katherine Eban, NY Times Best-Selling author of “Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom.” Today, almost 90 percent of our pharmaceutical market is comprised of generics, the majority of which are manufactured overseas. Eban reveals an industry where fraud is rampant and companies routinely falsify data. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, NY Times, Self, The Nation, the New York Observer, 60 Minutes, Nightline, NPR, and more. Kathryn also interviews Lawyer Annette Hines Esq, author of “Butterflies and Second Chances: A Mom’s Memoir of Love and Loss.” Not only can taking care of a child with a disability seem like an insurmountable task for many, but making sure their child has a secure future when they are no longer there can seem daunting as well. Hines is a powerhouse advocate for the special needs community and has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law and Estate Planning for over twenty years.