To illustrate, in 2008, heparin (a blood thinner) manufactured in China and shipped to 11 countries was contaminated. These countries include Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States. US federal officials associated this contaminated heparin with 81 deaths in the United States. The contaminant was identified as oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, a cheap and fake additive, and was identified after using testing techniques that were more sophisticated than those normally employed. The New York Times quoted the FDA stating that "...the agency did not know the original source of all the contamination or the points in the supply chain at which it was added."
In order to begin the needed full inspections of foreign pharmaceutical production plants, the FDA would have to spend at least $56 million at the outset, and at least $15 million per year to conduct inspections of China's drug plants biennially, which is the requirement in the United States. This requirement to inspect drug plants in the US every two years has not been maintained in American plants in China.
According to The New York Times, other contaminated products that have been manufactured in China and exported to the United States include poisonous toothpaste, lead-painted toys, toxic pet foods, tainted fish, and medicines.
The following is a list of pharma MNCs that have moved either drug manufacturing or R&D to China:
2. Novo Nordisk
4. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
6. Alliance Boots
8. Eli Lilly
Pharma MNCs make their moves on China
AstraZeneca Moves Drug Production to China, Begging Safety Questions for FDA
U.S. Identifies Tainted Heparin in 11 Countries
Pfizer's Manufacturing Facilities in China