Does China Really Make Our Medicines?
03/21/2020
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In last night's podcast I mentioned (at 36m05s here)  the statistic much-quoted by Tucker Carlson on his show this few weeks past: that 97 percent of our pharmaceuticals are made in China. Tucker seems to be relying on Gibson & Singh's 2018 book China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America's Dependence on China for Medicine. He actually had Rosemary Gibson on his show Thursday night.

One of my listeners has pooh-poohed this. He:

Here are the statistics. China does not even make the list. They have 20% of the world population, but make only 13% of the world's medicines, and export only generic meds with elapsed patents, while the U.S.A. makes 20% and is a big exporter.

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of drugs and medicines during 2018.

Germany: US$62.3 billion (16.8% of total drugs and medicines exports)
Switzerland: $45.3 billion (12.2%)
Belgium: $27.8 billion (7.5%)
France: $25.9 billion (7%)
United States: $22 billion (5.9%)
Ireland: $21.7 billion (5.8%)
United Kingdom: $19.7 billion (5.3%)
Italy: $19.6 billion (5.3%)
Netherlands: $16.8 billion (4.5%)
India: $13.1 billion (3.5%)
Denmark: $13 billion (3.5%)
Spain: $9 billion (2.4%)
Canada: $6.8 billion (1.8%)
Sweden: $6.7 billion (1.8%)
Austria: $5.5 billion (1.5%)

Thank you, Sir. This is one of those cases where I believe that I, or Carlson, or my listener, is missing some key point of terminology. Patents vs. generics? "Drugs" vs. "ingredients"?

I'd really like to see the discrepancy explained. Can anyone help? 

 

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