World’s top 10 consumers of oil

July 24, 2008

Scientists say that the world’s oil reserves could run dry over the next 30 to 50 years, crippling the world’s economy. Which means that new oil reserves will have to be found, or alternative sources of energy will have to be developed, or the consumption of oil will have to drastically reduced.

The globe uses up almost 82 million barrels of oil every day, or 30 billion barrels per year, and the consumption is constantly growing by the day, with economies like India and China growing at breakneck speed.

1. United States

The United States of America is the single largest consumer of oil.

It uses as much as 20.73 million barrels per day!

2. China

A fast growing China is the world’s second largest user of oil.

The world’s most populous nation uses 6.534 million barrels per day.

3. Japan

Japan is the third largest consumer of oil.

The Asian nation consumes 5.578 million barrels per day.

4. Germany

Germany is the fourth biggest consumer of oil in the world.

It uses 2.650 million barrels per day.

5. Russia

Russia is the fifth largest consumer of oil.

It uses 2.500 million barrels per day.

6. India

India is the sixth largest consumer of oil.

It burns up 2.450 million barrels per day.

7. Canada

Canada is the world’s seventh largest consumer of oil.

It uses 2.294 million barrels per day.

8. South Korea

South Korea is the world’s eighth largest consumer of oil.

It uses up 2.149 million barrels of oil per day.

9. Brazil

Brazil is the ninth largest user of oil.

It guzzles 2.100 million barrels per day.

10. France

France is the world’s tenth largest consumer of oil.

It devours 1.970 million barrels per day.


Lawmakers Dredge FDA for Ranbaxy Inspection Documents

July 24, 2008

Two congressmen have launched an investigation into whether the FDA allowed drugs made by Ranbaxy to be sold in the U.S. despite knowing it had approved them based on fraudulent information and they were made in violation of good manufacturing practices.

Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach requesting information on each Ranbaxy drug the FDA has approved.

The letter comes roughly a week after India-based Ranbaxy defended itself against allegations in a Justice Department motion that it and consultant Parexel had withheld subpoenaed documents and thwarted an investigation over alleged fraud and conspiracy involving applications for generic drugs and distribution of AIDS therapies.

Justice, through the U.S. State Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and the Civil Division, Office of Consumer Litigation, maintains the company submitted false information about stability and bioequivalence to support ANDAs for anti-retrovirals distributed by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion program aimed at combating HIV and other diseases in 114 countries.

The government is probing whether Ranbaxy used active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from unapproved sources, blended approved with unapproved API and put less API in drugs than approved by the FDA. It had subpoenaed certain documents, some of which the company refused to provide.

Ranbaxy subsequently said it would turn over all requested documents.

A copy of the letter is available at energycommerce.house.gov/Press_110/110-ltr.072208.FDA.Ranbaxy.pdf.


Don’t know how to Comment on Proposed Regulations and Submit Petitions

July 24, 2008

As a regulatory agency, FDA publishes rules that establish or modify the way it regulates foods, drugs, biologics, cosmetics, radiation-emitting electronic products, and medical devices–commodities close to the daily lives of all Americans. FDA rules have considerable impact on the nation’s health, industries and economy. These rules are not created arbitrarily or in a vacuum. They are formed with the public’s help.

By law, anyone can participate in the rule-making process by commenting in writing on rules FDA proposes. FDA routinely allows plenty of time for public input and carefully considers these comments when it draws up a final rule.

FDA gathers public comments mainly through two channels: proposed rules and petitions.

Proposed Rules

When FDA plans to issue a new regulation or revise an existing one, it places an announcement in the Federal Register on the day the public comment period begins. Published every weekday, the Federal Register is available at many public libraries and colleges, and on the FDA Website. Issues open to public comment often are reported by the news media and can also be found on FDA’s Website. Instructions for finding Federal Register documents and submitting comments are found on on the Federal Dockets Management System Instruction Sheet.

In the Federal Register, the “notice of proposed rulemaking” describes the planned regulation and provides background on the issue. It also gives the address for submitting written comments and the name of the person to contact for more information.

Also noted is the “comment period,” which specifies how long the agency will accept public comments. Usually, the file–or docket–stays open for comments at least 60 days, though some comment periods have been as short as 10 days or as long as nine months. Weekends and holidays are included in the comment period.

When submitting a comment by mail or in person, you do not need to follow any special style. If the comment is written legibly or typed on standard 8-1/2 inch by 11 inch paper, however, FDA can process the comment more effectively.

Comment Online

The Federal Dockets Management System Instruction Sheet tells how to submit comments electronically at regulations.gov.

Here are some other suggestions for making sure your comment has the greatest possible impact:

  • Clearly indicate if you are for or against the proposed rule or some part of it and why. FDA regulatory decisions are based largely on law and science, and agency reviewers look for reasoning, logic, and good science in comments they evaluate.
  • Refer to the docket number, listed in Federal Register notice.
  • Include a copy of articles or other references that support your comments. (Electronic attachments will not be forwarded if the “Comment” box is left empty.)
  • Only relevant material should be submitted. If an article or reference is in a foreign language, it must be accompanied by an English translation verified to be accurate. Translations should be accompanied by a copy of the original publication.
  • To protect privacy when submitting medical information, delete names or other information that would identify patients.
  • Comments must be postmarked, electronically submitted or delivered in person by the last day of the comment period.

When a comment is received, it is logged in, numbered, and placed in a file for that docket. It then becomes a public record and is available for anyone to examine at regulations.gov or in FDA’s reading room (Room 1061, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Md.). Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), visitors to the reading room can receive free copies of comments up to 50 pages if their request is for noncommercial use. After that, each page costs 10 cents. People also can send FDA an FOIA request and have copies of comments mailed to them.