When you pick up medications from the pharmacy, the drugs look so nice and clean.  Certainly, medications must be manufactured with the most stringent quality controls to ensure purity.  That’s probably why they’re so expensive. Right?  And if you’re like me, the high cost of medications does have the small positive effect of helping you feel good that you have access to such high quality substances.

Well, according to an Associated Press article released today, Tainted Pills Hit U.S. Mainland.  The article reports 13 of the 20 best-selling drugs in the US come from Puerto Rico and quality control measures are lax.

Is this article reason to be overly concerned or avoid taking medications?  No.  It should only serve as a reminder to inspect medications before they are taken.

Apparently, poor quality control has been an industry concern for years, yet industry professionals report the tainted medications are safe and effective.

Caregiver’s Tip: Always check the appearance of medications when they are administered. Know what the medications should look like. For example, clear liquids should be clear. Pills should not be contaminated with foreign material, paint flecks or other particles. Any medication that looks odd should be returned to your pharmacist.

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