GENERIC DRUGS, the favored child of medical care cost cutters, have come under suspicion following revelations that some manufacturers may have engaged in dubious manufacturing and testing practices and about the bribing of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees. The Inspector General's Office in the Department of Health and Human Services investigated these allegations under the auspices of the US Attorney's Office. Subsequently criminal charges were lodged. To date, three FDA employees, three drug company employees, and two companies have pleaded guilty to charges of corruption, says a report by Richard Kusserow, the department's inspector general.
At the same time, "there is no evidence to date to suggest the quality of generic drug products has been compromised," says Louis W. Sullivan, MD, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Frank E. Young, MD, FDA commissioner, agrees, and the two officials have announced steps to put tighter controls on