NEWS


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9.11.19 Center for Health Journalism

Harrowing portrait of generic drug industry shows us why regulators need to show up

Are generic medications interchangeable with one another and with brand-name drugs? If you think they are, Katherine Eban’s “Bottle of Lies” might cause you to reconsider.

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9.8.19 Deccan Chronicle

Whistle-blower vs Ranbaxy saga asks disturbing questions

New York-based journalist Eban’s 482-page book is truly an eye-opener.

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9.5.19 Undark Magazine

It’s Time to Get Tough on Overseas Drug Manufacturers

Even in a hostage situation, the FDA was uncertain of its authority over drugs used by many Americans.

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8.30.19 Yedioth Ahronoth

The Dark Secret Behind Your Medication

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8.20.19 The Straits Times

Book Alleging Breaches in Indian Pharma Industry Sparks Debate

Bottle of Lies has provoked a passionate debate in India, where the pharmaceutical regulatory system is weak.

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8.8.19 Wired Magazine

8 Ways Overseas Drug Manufacturers
Dupe the FDA

Let’s say you’re a manufacturer looking to get in on America’s $104 billion generic drug market. You want to make the lowest-cost drugs possible and sell them at the highest possible price. How best to proceed?

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7.21.19 Health Analytics Asia

The Scary Truth Behind Generic Drugs
in India and China

Over ten years, American investigative journalist Katherine Eban investigated and uncovered nothing less than a public health crisis.

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7.5.19 Quint FIT

The Dark Underbelly of Generic Drugs

What does Mahatma Gandhi have to do with generic drugs? FIT explains.

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7.5.19 Newsweek Excerpt

Bottle X: Exposing Impurities in the Generic Drug Business

New York Times bestseller published in May, Katherine Eban's expose shines new light on the mysterious generic drug manufacturing business. Almost 90 percent of America's prescription drugs are generics, with the majority of them made overseas. Fraud is widespread, Eban writes, in order to circumvent inspections and maximize profits.

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6.17.19 The People's Pharmacy Interview

What Are the Problems with Generic Drugs?

You may not be aware that the vast majority of medications Americans take are generic drugs. This helps hold down the costs that patients have to pay, especially if you are taking one of the medicines offered for an extra-low rate, like $4 a month, at a big-box store. That certainly sounds great, unless you consider quality. Are there problems with generic drugs?

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6.14.19 LinkedIn Weekend Essay

A prescription for disaster: The dangers inside the global generic drug industry

In January 2013, a young investigator with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration arrived in the city of Kalyani in Eastern India, to inspect a manufacturing site that appeared to be the perfect emblem of a global drug supply.

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6.12.19 Medscape Medical News Interview

Katherine Eban talks to Medscape

In 2008, investigative journalist Katherine Eban started digging into the generic drug industry after hearing stories of patients whose generic drugs were not working properly for them. They had been stable on a branded drug, but then relapsed once switched to a generic version or experienced troubling side effects when switched between generics. She detailed her findings in a series of articles in the magazines Self and Fortune, and her new book, Bottle of Lies .

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5.31.19 WNYC The Brian Lehrer Show Interview

The True Cost of Generic Drugs

Katherine Eban, investigative reporter, Fortune Magazine contributor and author of Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom (Ecco, 2019) looks at the risks of the global manufacturing system that's developed for generic drugs.

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5.26.19 Boston Globe Ideas section

These pills could kill you

In late 2013, pharmacists at the Cleveland Clinic made a striking decision: The health system would no longer stock a generic version of an immunosuppressant drug, These pills could kill you, made by the Indian company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

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5.26.19 CNN New Day Interview 

Alisyn Camerota talks to Katherine Eban about Bottle of Lies

More than 80% of active ingredients in generic drugs are made outside of the U.S. “There is widespread fabrication of quality data in plants overseas”: After a 10-year investigation, author @KatherineEban argues that generic drugs may be poisoning us.

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5.24.19 DEMOCRACY NOW! Interview

Democracy Now's in-depth interview with Katherine Eban on Bottle of Lies

Generic drugs amount to 90% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S., most of them made in plants in India and China. Generic drugs can be more affordable, but in her new explosive book “Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom,” investigative journalist Katherine Eban works with two industry whistleblowers to expose how some manufacturers are cutting corners at the cost of quality and safety.

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5.17.19 Time Magazine

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How Some Generic Drugs Could Do More Harm Than Good

For the 16 years that Dr. Brian Westerberg, a Canadian surgeon, worked volunteer missions at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, scarcity was the norm. The patients usually exceeded the 1,500 allotted beds. Running water was once cut off when the debt-ridden hospital was unable to pay its bills.

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5.17.19 Kirkus Book Review

5.16.19 Fresh Air Interview

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Kirkus gives a starred review to Bottle of Lies

Given the greed of pharmaceutical companies, writes investigative journalist Eban (Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters Are Contaminating America's Drug Supply, 2005), cheap generics are essential to money-strapped consumers—and that just may be a death sentence. There are many players and levels in this excellent book, a solid mix of the history of generic drugs, whistleblower tale, and pharmaceutical detective story.

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The Generic Drugs You're Taking May Not Be As Safe Or Effective As You Think

As the cost of prescription medication soars, consumers are increasingly taking generic drugs: low-cost alternatives to brand-name medicines. Often health insurance plans require patients to switch to generics as a way of controlling costs. But journalist Katherine Eban warns that some of these medications might not be as safe, or effective, as we think.

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5.13.19 Fox & Friends

Investigation Into Generic Drug Industry Reveals Rampant Manufacturing Fraud

Author of Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom Katherine Eban questions if distant manufacturing plants are being effectively regulated by the FDA.

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5.13.19 New York Times Book Review

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A New Book Argues That Generic Drugs Are Poisoning Us

Who would ever guess that Gandhi helped start an industry whose corruption now plagues us all? Yet here he is, early in Katherine Eban’s Bottle of Lies, barefoot in his Ahmedabad ashram, urging the chemist Khwaja Abdul Hamied (a fellow Indian nationalist) to copy Western drugs as a way to bring affordable medicine to India’s masses. Thus the generic drug industry began.

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5.12.19 NPR Book Review

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Bottle Of Lies Exposes The Dark Side Of The Generic Drug Boom 

Generic drugs are supposed to work just as well as their name-brand counterparts.

Once a patent lifts, generic drug companies find alternative ways to manufacture a drug that should work indistinguishably from the name-brand version. In a world of skyrocketing prescription drug prices, cheaper generics have acted as a crucial counterweight.

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5.11.19 New York Times Sunday Review

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Delcan & Company

Americans Need Generic Drugs. But Can They Trust Them? 

The fake quality-control data, bird infestations and toxic impurities at the overseas plants that could be making your medication. 

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5.10.19 CBS This Morning

Bottle of Lies debuts on CBS This Morning

A new book raises questions about whether the federal government is doing enough to ensure the safety of generic drugs coming into the United States. Nine out of every 10 prescriptions filled are for generics. That saves Americans some $3 billion a week over the cost of brand-name drugs.

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6.8.18 PBS

Katherine Eban Appears on PBS’ The Open Mind

On May 18, Katherine Eban appeared on the PBS program, The Open Mind, hosted by Alexander Heffner, to discuss the crisis of quality in generic drug manufacturing, and the dangerous decline in domestic manufacturing.

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2.4.17

Katherine Eban Awarded McGraw Center Business Reporting Grant

Katherine Eban is one of four veteran journalists who have won grants as recipients of the McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism. Two of the winning projects will explore challenges facing the modern pharmaceutical industry: Eban's centers on the inadequate regulation of generic drugs produced around the globe.

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4.28.15

Katherine Eban Named as One of 32 Inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellows

The Carnegie Corporation of New York announced the names of 32 Andrew Carnegie Fellows today as the inaugural class of a major annual fellowship program that will provide support for scholars in the social sciences and humanities. The Andrew Carnegie Fellows are an exceptional group of established and emerging scholars, journalists, and authors whose work distills knowledge, enriches our culture, and equips leaders in the realms of science, law, business, public policy and the arts. The fellowships aim to provide new perspectives on the program's overarching theme for 2015: Current and Future challenges to U.S. Democracy and International Order. Winning proposals address issues including policing and race, big data and privacy, the impact of an aging population, the safety of generic drugs, and how attitudes are formed among voters.

Read more about the Carnegie Fellowship in the New York Times

3.20.15

Scott Z. Burns to Adapt Vanity Fair Article on Torture Cheerleaders for HBO

By Mike Hogan

The story of how psychologists helped pioneer the C.I.A.’s post-9/11 program of aggressive interrogation techniques (read: torture), first told by Katherine Eban in Vanity Fair in 2007, is being adapted into a new film by HBO, VF.com can announce.

In the original story, titled “Rorschach and Awe,” Eban described how two psychologists, James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, became the C.I.A.’s go-to evangelists for a new menu of abusive techniques, including waterboarding, that they reverse-engineered from an old U.S. program designed to train soldiers to withstand torture by Communist adversaries. Eban’s discoveries were later reinforced by the U.S. Senate’s torture report, released in 2014.

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2.25.15

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How Indian pharma can clear the U.S. FDA hurdle

On a recent trip to India, Katherine spoke at Gateway House on the challenges facing Indian pharma companies as they face increased FDA scrutiny.

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