The safety of America’s food and medical products is often challenged by consumer watchdog groups advocating on behalf of the public. This time, the warning comes from the Food and Drug Administration itself, who caution that a tainted drug disaster is just waiting to happen.
The public health crisis looming among us is the result of overseas manufacturing. The agency can’t guarantee the safety of many drug and food products that are manufactured outside of the U.S. With 80% of the ingredients used in U.S. drugs coming from other countries, the agency admits that it is crippled in it mission to protect the health of Americans.
One recent incident that illustrates the FDA’s difficulty in monitoring imports is the contaminated blood thinner Heprin that was produced in China and led to more than 100 deaths here in the U.S. Counterfeit Lipitor from Central American and counterfeit glucose monitor test strips also showcase the agency’s inability to operate effectively on a global scale.
John Taylor, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, recently laid out the agency’s plan to react to these global challenges at a conference in Washington D.C. He explained that the next few years will be critical, as the FDA attempts to partner with foreign counterparts to create a global coalition of consumers and boost intelligence gathering.