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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Heparin Recall

I am disturbed at the spectacle of senior managers of the companies at every stage in the tainted Heparin supply chain blaming the company further toward the source as being responsible (A Blood Thinner May Be Linked To More Deaths, New York Times, February 29th., 2008: A1, A10).

One company and one company alone, is responsible for these tainted products entering the medical supply market: Baxter. Clearly Baxter failed to adequately inspect its incoming supplies. Clearly Baxter failed to inspect the products that it put up for sale -- and this after the Tainted Toy scandal.

The lesson is clear if companies are going to save money by carrying out their production activities off shore, they are going to have to spend money in the United States to ensure that the products meet the high standards of purity and safety that Americans expect.

In a regime of weakening regulation, companies must increase their own inspection activities. And if inspectors fail to do the job properly then the companies must pay the cost in legally imposed severe financial penalties. Companies that are crying out to put a cap on tort claims and for further deregulation cannot have it both ways. Absent strong regulation, they must suffer the costs of their failures in court.

Sent to New York Times

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