Low-quality of some generic medicinal products represents a matter for growing concern

Juan Tamargo, Giuseppe Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: Generic medicinal products (GMPs) are low-priced copies of off-patent medicines that reduce healthcare costs and broaden access to healthcare. Thus, healthcare authorities, professionals and providers, recommend their use. In recent years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved hundreds of GMPs based on specific bioequivalent trials. The question is whether the brand-name drugs and GMPs or the different GMPs similar in purity, efficacy and safety.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We have reviewed the progressive increasing recalls and warning letters of cardiovascular GMPs issued recently by the FDA/EMA. Both Agencies found numerous irregularities in the purity, safety, effectiveness and current good manufacturing practices in some GMPs widely used in cardiovascular therapy. This evidence and the recent identification of nitrosamine impurities classified as probable human carcinogens in several angiotensin receptor blockers confirm that the presence of low-quality/substandard GMPs represents a serious public health problem with significant impact on national clinical and economic burden.

CONCLUSION: A global strategy that unifies the efforts of all the stakeholders, including drug manufacturers, healthcare providers, Governments, health professionals, patients and judicial systems are needed to protect the drug chain supply and ensure that only high-quality GMPs are available for use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean heart journal. Cardiovascular pharmacotherapy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 10 2019


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