Are most generic drugs made in china?



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Because the active ingredients of most generic drugs come from China and India, including 84% of the world's supply of acetaminophen, the coronavirus could cause supply disruptions, experts warn.

Many over-the-counter and generic drugs [PDF] sold in the United States are made in China, including antidepressants, HIV/AIDS medications, birth control pills, chemotherapy treatments, and medicines for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.

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Column: With most drug ingredients coming from China, FDA says shortages have begun Because the active ingredients of most generic drugs come from China and India, including 84% of the world’s...

China makes a major share of the world’s vitamins, antibiotics, painkillers and enzymes. Many generic medicines are made overseas and China has a large share of that market as well. The FDA can’t tell you what medicines are made in China, but after some research we found a list of over 100 medicines that are made in China.

Last week the FDA recalled several versions of the generic blood pressure medication valsartan which were made in China and contained a carcinogen (see here .) Since then I have switched many patients from the bad valsartan to losartan or valsartan from presumably safe manufacturers.

“China controls almost 100% of the generic medications that are prescribed in the United States. And now if they can’t make it, we don’t have an alternative place.”

Patients shouldn’t have to face that choice. In 2008, a contaminated blood thinner from China, heparin, killed 81 American patients. Heparin is made from the mucous membranes of pig intestines ...

China and India now manufacture about 80% of the drugs consumed in the U.S. (Getty Images) Last week, drugmaker Novartis issued a recall of generic versions of the popular heartburn medication Zantac.

Last year, manufacturing of intermediate or finished goods in China, as well as pharmaceutical source material, accounted for 95% of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91% of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70% of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40 to 45% of U.S. imports of penicillin, and 40% of U.S. imports of heparin, according to the Commerce Department.

Why are most of the generic medicines sold in the U.S. manufactured mostly in India and China? The transition to an offshore drug supply has been decades in the making. But essentially with a drive for lower-cost drugs, manufacturing has moved to markets with lower operating costs, cheaper labour and cheaper supplies.

Few clinicians had been even remotely aware that valsartan is mostly manufactured in China. Valsartan is far from unique in this regard. China has become the world’s dominant supplier of essential ingredients needed to make most of the world’s other medicines as well.

So if you're wondering if your medication is made in China, it'll probably take a little more research than you had bargained for. has researched where some of the most popular drugs in the U.S. (including Viagra, Crestor, Januvia) are made. In the U.S., many brand-name drugs' packaging includes where the drug is made.

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