Valisure, an independent testing laboratory that deals with this kind of thing, was brought in by the DoD to test a slew of medications amid growing concerns about pharmaceutical drug contamination and other quality and supply issues.
Under a multi-year agreement, Valisure will test dozens of popularly used drugs for dangerous chemicals. The lab will also rate manufacturers' quality to help the DoD weed out those that produce substandard products.
Because the cooperative agreement has been designated as a "research and development" operation to exchange information, the Pentagon will not be paying Valisure for these testing services.
(Related: Guess what kills more American children than guns do? Wuhan coronavirus [Covid-19] "vaccines.")
The U.S. government is primarily focused on generic drugs made by foreign companies usually based in either China or India. Because of domestic shortages, increasingly more Americans are relying on foreign drugs to get their fix, and the DoD says it is worried that consumers are taking tainted products.
The covid "pandemic" shined a really bright light on America's growing dependence on foreign drugs, so much so that Congress ordered the DoD to take this next step in confirming their safety.
"Drug shortages are at a nine-year high as manufacturers deal with quality issues, difficulty getting supplies and rising demand for certain drugs," reports Bloomberg about the matter.
In speaking about the new partnership, Valisure CEO David Light told the media that this is a critical next step to ensure that Americans are receiving the safe, high-quality products they think they are.
"Beyond the importance this holds for national security, the Department of Defense is also a large health system with millions of patients," Light said. "This DoD initiative can be a powerful model for improving the generic drug market."
Valisure has a solid track record in identifying carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals in not just pharmaceutical drugs but also personal care products like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and dry shampoo.
You may recall that back in 2019, the heartburn pill Zantac was taken off the market. Valisure's identification of a carcinogen in those pills is what led to that drug no longer being available to consumers.
Kaiser Permanente, a California-based sick care system, is also working with Valisure to conduct drug checks on products used at its hospitals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is none too happy about this, though. The federal agency does not like anyone using Valisure, and especially the DoD, because it claims that independent drug testing labs are "untrustworthy" and their actions could lead to unwanted shortages.
The FDA does admit, however, that 62 percent of drug shortages in the U.S. are caused by quality issues stemming from poor manufacturing practices. Carboplatin and cisplatin, two popular cancer drugs, are both prominent examples of this as they are currently in short supply due to their manufacturer, based out of India, running a dirty operation that prompted a regulatory shutdown.
"Our country's reliance on active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines manufactured abroad in China and India has come at significant cost of safety," warned Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct.) about the matter.
Those interested in learning more about Valisure's scoring system, developed by Light, can check out this study published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, which unpacks the details further.
Keep up with the latest developments at BigPharmaNews.com.
Sources for this article include: