Tainted Puerto Rico Pills Hit U.S. Mainland

A review of FDA reports shows that Puerto Rico’s pharma industry has exported pills with metal in them, pills with incorrect dosages, and pills with paint from the factory doors embedded in the finishing, among other defects. One company, responding to the findings, said “some metallic material was to be expected because the manufacturing equipment is made of metal.” The FDA says the problems in Puerto Rico, which makes 13 of the top 20 best-selling drugs, are proportional to those found on the mainland. Consumer advocates contend that that just shows how ineffective the FDA is, both on the island, and on the mainland. If those are the defects inspectors found, imagine which ones they didn’t, and are inside our bodies right now.

Tainted Pills Hit U.S. Mainland [AP] (Thanks to dragontologist!)
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ghede says:

    I’m glad I went off my meds. (Nothing serious folks. At least that is what the floating elephant named Zo’k-Lanoush tells me.)

  2. Ftp1423 says:


  3. nequam says:

    “One company, responding to the findings, said ‘some metallic material was to be expected because the manufacturing equipment is made of metal.'”

    !!! Maybe they should consider using equipment made out of chocolate.

  4. jordy777 says:

    You see, Tom Cruise was right, medications are bad!

    But seriously (not really), do you think the Scientologists are behind this?

  5. DrGirlfriend says:

    Perhaps the title of the article should specify that tainted pills from Puerto Rico **join** tainted pills made in the US Mainland. The article does state that this happens here, too.

  6. jordy777 says:

    @nequam: Willy Wonka’s Snapdoodleriffic Super Viagra Bar! I think Pfizer is going to be making a name change any day now.

  7. fergthecat says:

    @jordy777: Yes. In fact, the word “Xanu” is almost just like “Xanax”. Or pretty close, at least.

  8. chemman says:

    I’ve worked in the pharma industry for 10+ years as researcher and I can tell you, the finding in PR are no different than what they find at any manufacturing plant. One thing my fellow researchers and I joke about is the ridiculous specifications required by the FDA when it comes to certain impurities, metals, etc. I think that now that there are analytical techniques available to analzye drugs down to the parts per billion or trillion, the FDA feels they should be utilized even if there is no real scientific reason for it. Think about it, a typical specification for a capsule would be less than 20 ppm (parts per million)of heavy metals. So we develop a process to control the metals down to that level, then verify evey lot going out is under that level, then the average consumer does what? Takes that pill with a glass of water from their local city water, which probably contains 5 to 10 times that amount. Not to mention, you probably take one or two 250 mg capsules a day while drinking about 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day, so which source of contamination worries you the most?

  9. DrGirlfriend says:

    Also, I wonder what the effects of Puerto Rico pills are? If they give you J.Lo booty, I’ll take them, tainted or not.

  10. fergthecat says:

    @fergthecat: “Xenu”, not “Xanu”. Must have gotten confused with Xanadu, or something.

  11. Shadowman615 says:

    That picture is hilarious in combination with the story. Metal in the pills? Yikes!

  12. Jthmeffy says:

    Dont worry, I’m sure they will fix this.. And jack prices of medication even farther through the roof to “pass the costs onto the consumers” for doing it right the second time around.

  13. TechnoDestructo says:

    Jagged metal Krusty-O

  14. Pinget says:

    Tell me again that it’s those scary ‘imported drugs from Canada’ that we’re supposed to fear? Why? Cause they don’t contain enough paint chips?

  15. Empire says:

    @chemman: I like your thinking! “Sure, we poison you. But we posion you less.”

  16. shortergirl06 says:

    So what pills are affected by this? The article only lists two.

  17. chemman says:

    @Empire: Actually, what I was thinking was, why is 150 ppm an appropriate specification for the EPA in drinking water (which is consumed in much larger quantities) when the FDA specification is 20 ppm. But you’re right, it’s not my job as a scientist to question these things, I should just blindly accept what some government agency tells me!