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In the wake of concerns over the safety of foreign-made medicines, the US Food and Drug Administration significantly increased the number of inspections of overseas facilities. Yet the agency has failed to assess the extent to which its efforts are actually improving the quality of drugs entering the country, according to a new report by the US Government Accountability Office.

The GAO noted that nearly 40 percent of finished drugs and about 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients are made in facilities that are registered in more than 150 countries. And by some measures, the FDA has made progress – the agency has reduced the number of facilities that have gone without an inspection history to 33 percent of foreign establishments, compared to 64 percent in 2010.

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