April 30, 2008

The First Straw

Some might say the first straw was the Chinese painting toys with lead paint, but that's not near the level of harm as sending America tainted heparin resulting in the death of 81 people.  So, the question become, why isn't this considered an act of war and why is America continuing with plans to attend the Olympics in Beijing?

The F.D.A. has identified Changzhou SPL, a Chinese subsidiary of Scientific Protein Laboratories, as the source of the contaminated heparin. A Congressional investigator said the contaminant, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, cost $9 a pound compared with $900 a pound for heparin.

Mr. Strunce said that his company tried to find the original source of the contamination but was stopped by the Chinese authorities.

Robert L. Parkinson, Baxter's chairman and chief executive, told the committee, "We're alarmed that one of our products was used in what appears to have been a deliberate scheme to adulterate a life-saving medication."

Chinese officials have disputed the F.D.A. contention that the contaminant caused death and injury, and they have insisted on the right to inspect American drug plants if the F.D.A. insists on inspecting Chinese ones.

As I heard someone say, this is what happens when you buy drugs from your enemy.

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