Every once in a while an instance of product dumping comes along that is so blatant, you have to rub your eyes and look again. Consider the case of Panalba.
Panalba was an antibiotic made by the large, U.S.-based Upjohn Company. It was launched in 1957 and promoted heavily. By 1968, Panalba sales totaled $18 million, or 12 percent of Upjohn’s domestic gross income. Yet in that same year and the two that followed, strong scientific evidence of Panalba’s harm appeared:
After much bureaucratic wrangling and resistance by Upjohn, the FDA finally forced Panalba off the market in 1970.
If you think all this evidence against Panalba would make its manufacturer think twice before selling it elsewhere, think again. Under FDA regulations, antibiotics are not legally classified as “drugs.” Were Panalba considered a drug, it would undoubtedly have lost its FDA approval and, thus, been illegal for export. But because of this classic loophole in the law, it is now perfectly legal for Upjohn to export Panalba. (Actually, its two ingredients are exported separately and combined and packaged in Upjohn’s foreign plants.) Today, after being the target of one of the strongest cases against a drug in regulatory history, Panalba is sold in 33 countries under another name — Albamycin-T.