02/24/2011 - Lawmakers scolded the FDA for still not knowing what or who was behind the contamination of the blood-thinning drug Heparin, nearly three years after launching its investigation.
The contaminated drug led to the deaths of dozens of people in the U.S.
"It has been almost three years since the the FDA linked deaths and serious allergic reactions of patients to supplies of Heparin that came from China," Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), wrote in a letter to Food and Drug Agency Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Wednesday.
Upton said the House Energy and Commerce committee, which he chairs, will conduct its own probe into the matter.
80% of all active pharmaceutical ingredients used in drugs sold in the U.S. now originate overseas, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. China is the top supplier of those ingredients.
The FDA typically inspects drug manufacturing plants in the U.S. every two years.
But with 1,000 or more drugmaking plants in China supplying U.S. companies, not every facility can be inspected on a three-year schedule, said Allan Coukell, director of medical safety with research firm Pew Health Group.
Read the full article Heparin Contamination: Lawmakers Want Answers on the CNNMoney Web site.