tv Rosemary Gibson China Rx CSPAN January 7, 2019 7:01am-7:09am EST
period, there is very extensive testimony from the aftermath, some of it obviously very well covered in the hearings that were held on capitol hill, other news hasn't gotten so much attention. i think it's one of the virtues to have book is pointing out some of those interviews that came out of the crisis inquiry commission not that you would agree or disagree but we highlighted some of it that didn't get much attention. >> folks, i'm afraid we are out of time. we are a small group so there will be opportunities for those of you who stay around to perhaps ask some questions directly to our speakers in the hour of reception which is going to take place in the winter garden here at the front of the building, but before we leave, i hope you'll please join me in thanking first of all all of our
participants for most informative discussion. [applause] >> and finally before we head off, i'd also like us to please give a round of thanks to my colleagues in the cmfa, along with cato conference team for organizing this event. [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> the national press club holds annual book fair and this year book tv attended and spoke with several nonfiction authors. rosemary gibson describes china on prescription drug industry.
>> china rx is exposing the risks of america's dependence on china for medicine. what do we depend on china for? >> for antibiotics, key ingredients in antidepressants and parkinson's medicine, if china shut the door, within a couple of months our hospitals would have to shut down. that's how dependent we are. >> host: how did that happen? >> guest: well, it started with a generic drugs, we all love generic drugs because they're a lot less expensive than named-brand drugs. the problem is when manufacturers, they want to find a cheaper way to make them because it's cheaper to pay for and so they look to china that was more than willing to make them at much lower price. and the other thing that happened were the trade deals.
what's fascinating about this doing the research for this book is to see when we opened free trade with china, that's when -- we last the penicillin plant, last vitamin c plant gone. dramatic shift in production when we opened up trade, that's a fact, it's not a political statement, it's a reality of how the global market works and so we created the dependency, it's not just us, it's the rest of the world. so to china's credit they built up this incredible industry and they wanted to become the pharmacy of the world and they are on track to do that. >> host: do we not make aspirin here in the united states anymore? >> guest: we might make the actual tablet but the ingredient comes from china or elsewhere.
>> host: same thing with penicillin. >> guest: we used to have plants all over the country, they are all gone, wiped out. >> host: what's the danger in this? >> guest: well, think of our military, let's take the anthrax attacks, a lot of your viewers may remember when anthrax attacks happened after september 11th in new york and washington and elsewhere, when the federal government wanted to buy 20 million doses they had to get the medicine from a company in europe and i interviewed the ceo for china rx and he had to get the starting material from a plant in china. just think about that. and how the other antidote for anthrax, the key component of medicine comes from china. so just think if there's a big public health, global public
health event or say there's tensions in the south china sea what the national security, think about the young men and women in the south china sea in the naval vessels and their dependent on adversary for a lot of their medicine, it's remarkable. and this is untold story, nobody knows, i didn't start out to write a book on this topic, who knew? and so now the public is really interested, doctors are interested, leaders in the military, national security. the big issue and even people in the industry know that for the long haul it's a big challenge even for them. >> host: how did you find the story? what were you working on? >> guest: i was just looking for a good story in health care which i've written before and stumbled on it and said, oh my goodness, in fact, you know what the tipping point was, i was reading the newspaper article in the economic times, the newspaper from india and so the
lead paragraph starts out saying, so imagine indian soldier on the border with china, a lot of tensions up there and say if the soldier opens up medic bag and looks for medicine and doesn't have anymore and he thinks to himself, oh, my goodness, i'm dependent on the adversary for my medicine. india is also dependent on china. that was the point of the article for -- makes a lot of generic but has to get starting materials from there. if india is dependent, what about us, i had to answer that question and that's the result with china rx. >> host: does the national security community interested in this topic? >> guest: we are trying to get them -- first aware of it and interested in it. there was a recent recall, blood pressure medicine, the active ingredient was made in china and
it was found to contain a human carcinogen and i was contacted by a retired military officer who had been taking the medicine and he said unacceptable. we've got to get generals to sign a petition and other members of the military to say we have to bring our manufacturing back home or at least diversify our manufacturing base for national security and public health. so this does affect the military as well. >> host: china rx is the name of the book, who is your coauthor? >> a colleague i've worked with for many years. >> host: where do you work daily? >> i'm at the hasting center up in garrison new york along the hudson river. >> host: which is what? >> healthcare think tank and it's a great place to do this kind of work. >> host: so what's your background, how did you get into health