The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is at odds with congressional investigators over an investigation into the federal agency’s inspection of foreign drug manufacturing facilities.
The report revealed that inspecting the more than 3,000 overseas drug plants would take the FDA more than 13 years to complete The agency fired back, saying “The conclusion that FDA should endeavor to conduct foreign inspections based on the same criteria as domestic inspections is…problematic because of the differences in regulatory methodology and resources,” according to the Associated Press.
The need for careful inspections of foreign drug manufacturing plants has come to the forefront since the tainted heparin scare earlier this year that killed more than 80 people and sickened hundreds more. Those batches of heparin were found to have been contaminated in Baxter International’s Chinese manufacturing plant.
Now the Natural News is reporting that the FDA is refusing to release information on which Chinese companies supplied the tainted heparin. According to Natural News, the FDA claims that a confidentially agreements with producers of heparin are preventing the government agency from revealing which Chinese companies supplied heparin ingredients to the United States. It also claims that because of the Memorandum of Agreement that regulates relationships between the FDA and China, the FDA does not have the legal authority to prevent Chinese-manufactured medicines from being imported into the U.S. The FDA says it relies on companies to voluntarily rest their own heparin ingredients, a process that obviously failed last year when contaminated heparin entered the United States.
Meanwhile, Chinese health officials say that it has not been proven that the heparin was contaminated in Chinese plants, and that contamination could just have easily happened in Baxter’s New Jersey plant.