Are Your Prescription Drugs as Safe as You May Think?

By Dr. Al Sears,

I want to share a shocking statistic with you. Around 80% of all the pharmaceuticals sold in America — both prescription and over-the-counter — are manufactured in China.

I’m talking about drugs for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, blood pressure and blood thinners, diuretics, aspirin, antibiotics, and a big chunk of the world’s insulin and diabetes drugs — just to name a few.1

We don’t even make penicillin anymore. The last penicillin plant in the U.S. closed its doors in 2004. Americans who rely on medicine are now almost entirely at the mercy of a country whose relations with the U.S. have become more tense than they were just a few years ago. Yet, there’s no need to panic. And in a moment, I’ll tell you why…

First, let me share why we need to be concerned. Pharmaceutical companies can’t just pack up their overseas operations and build drug-making plants in America or move them to some other country.

It could take years to develop the infrastructure to re-establish manufacturing capacities in the U.S. and get the FDA licenses to replace the loss of the Chinese supply.

But there’s an even bigger problem. Drugs imported from China have additional safety risk factors that go beyond the well-known side effects I’ve written to you about before.

The FDA insists that pharmaceutical ingredients from China are safe. But I don’t buy it. The FDA has a long history of failing to oversee drug sources in other countries. In 2008, contaminated supplies of the blood-thinning drug Heparin from China led to the deaths of 149 Americans and hundreds more allergic reactions.

Though that scandal prompted the FDA to start stationing inspectors in overseas plants, a recent scathing report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office highlighted the FDA’s long history of failing to conduct oversight on foreign drug factories.2

The reason the FDA had little chance to uncover the heparin contamination before Americans started dying: It hadn’t inspected the plant.

Even now, the FDA is plagued by a staffing shortage. In China and India, there are just 15 combined inspector positions – and five of those remain unfilled. That’s less than 10 inspectors to oversee 5,000 Chinese drug-making facilities.3

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’ve been warning patients for years about the dangers of Big Pharma’s concoctions. At my clinic, I work to get my patients off prescription drugs. I prescribe pharmaceuticals only when absolutely necessary.

Blockbuster drugs like statins, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, bisphosphonates, and antidepressants — all made in China — can often create new and dangerous health issues and can make recovery impossible.

Mainstream medicine wants to scare you into thinking you need these drugs to keep you alive and healthy. In fact, in many cases, the opposite is true. But here’s the secret Big Pharma and its Chinese partners don’t want you to know:

For every disease — and every Big Pharma drug — nature has provided a natural, non-toxic non-pharmaceutical alternative that’s free from side effects. Develop your own medical supply chain

I recommend that you become the master of your own “medical” supply chain – so you’ll no longer be at the mercy of Big Pharma, China, and an unreliable FDA. The natural alternatives and therapies I’m going to tell you about are much safer, often more effective, and cost much less than any drug from Big Pharma or its Chinese manufacturers.

Here are some alternatives to some of Big Pharma’s biggest blockbuster drugs:

Blood thinners. Studies also show that warfarin increases your risk of stroke, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis. One study estimated that nursing home residents alone suffer 34,000 fatal, life-threatening, or serious events related to warfarin every year.4

Natural alternative – curcumin. You know this spice has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-cancer properties. But recent studies show it’s also a powerful anticoagulant, working to inhibit clotting factors and prevent blood clots from forming.

Choose a supplement with at least 90% curcuminoids. And look for one that contains piperine, a black pepper extract that boosts absorption. Take between 500 mg to 1,000 mg each day.

Arthritis drugs. NSAIDs increase your risk of heart attack and stroke after just one week of consistent use. And the more you use them, the more your risk goes up.5

Natural alternative – frankincense: Also known as Boswellia serrata, this herb has a long history of treating arthritis without side effects. In a large study, researchers followed 440 arthritis patients for six months. They found that frankincense relieved pain as effectively as painkiller drugs. It also significantly improved arthritic knee function.6

Frankincense contains enzymes that block prostaglandin e2 (PGe2). This hormone-like chemical is produced by the body in response to an injury. It makes blood vessels dilate and expand. This causes the injured area to become swollen and arthritic. By directly attacking PGe2, frankincense stops inflammation before it starts.

Look for a Boswellia serrata supplement standardized to at least 65% boswellic acids. I recommend 400 mg three times a day.

Blood pressure pills. Diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers have serious side effects. I’m talking about things like edema, dizziness, nose bleeds, rash, and hearing loss. They can lead to cardiac failure, heart attack, depression, colitis, and arthritis pain.

Natural alternative – magnesium: This is your body’s own blood vessel relaxer. I’ve used it in my practice with great results. It helps balance potassium, sodium, and calcium, all of which affect blood pressure.

In a review of 34 studies covering more than 2,000 patients, researchers found that taking magnesium daily for one month lowered systolic pressure by 2 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 1.8 mmHg.7

I recommend between 600 mg and 1,000 mg a day. Take it with vitamin B6. It will increase the amount of magnesium that accumulates in your cells.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS


  1. Ewen M, et al. “A perspective on global access to insulin: a descriptive study of the market, trade flows and prices.” Diabet Med. 2019;36(6):726-733.
  2. Denigan-Macauley M. Drug Safety: Preliminary Findings Indicate Persistent Challenges with FDA Foreign Inspections. GOA report December 2019. Accessed March 17, 2023.
  3. “Comparing Global Pharmaceutical Markets, the US, UK, and China.” February 2023.,according%20to%20a%20Forbes%20ranking. Accessed March 17, 2023.

  1. Gurwitz JH, et al. “The safety of warfarin therapy in the nursing home setting.” Am J Med. 2007;120:539-544.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. FDA strengthens warning that NSAIDs increase heart attack and stroke risk. that-NSAIDs-increase-heart-attack-and-stroke-risk-201507138138. Updated August 22, 2017. Accessed March 17, 2023.

  1. Chopra A, et al. “Ayurvedic medicine offers a good alternative to glucosamine and celecoxib in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, controlled equivalence drug trial.” Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013;52(8):1408-1417.
  2. Zhang X, et al. “Effects of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials.” Hypertension. 2016;68(2):324-333.


The articles in Northwest Senior News are for your education and general health information only, and the opinions of various writers do not necessarily reflect those of Northwest Senior News. The ideas, opinions and suggestions contained in Northwest Senior News are NOT to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or related issues. Readers of Northwest Senior News should not rely on information provided in these articles for their own healthcare. Any questions regarding your own healthcare should be addressed to your own physician. Please do NOT start or stop any medications or any other medical protocol without consulting your doctor or other licensed healthcare practitioners.