The tainted blood thinner heparin, which was recalled in January, has been linked to four deaths in the US and about 350 other “complications”.
A recent report by Walt Bodanich and Jake Hooker of the New York Times reveals that the active ingredient in this blood thinner marketed by Baxter International was produced by a factory in China. No big surprise there. Because the plant wasn’t certified by China’s pharmaceutical drug agency, it was never inspected. Again, no surprise there.
What is particularly disturbing about this is that the US Food and Drug Administration also failed to inspect the plant prior to granting their approval. The FDA is supposed to inspect the plant themselves before allowing them to become a major supplier of pharmaceutical drugs to US citizens.
We can’t count on another country’s broken and corrupt government to do the right thing when it comes to protecting the citizens of the United States. That is why the FDA is supposed to perform an inspection of overseas facilities. It seems, however, that we can’t count on them to protect us either…
A spokesperson for the FDA, Karen Riley, described the failure as a “glitch.” How many more “glitches” will there be this year? How many balls need to be dropped? How many dangerous products have to slip through the cracks? How many men, women and children need to die before some heads start to roll over at the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture?
Perhaps someone from one of these agencies would like to come on here and tell the American people what the problem is, and what needs to be done in order for it to be fixed. Are corporate lobbyists keeping them from being able to do their job properly? Is it a lack of funding? Are there legal barriers in the way? Whatever needs to be done, it has to be accomplished quickly because the level of protection being provided today is simply unacceptable.