F.D.A. Tracked Tainted Drugs, but Trail Went Cold in China

Back on May 7th this year I posted an entry on this blog about From China to Panama, a Trail of Poisoned Medicine which concerned the export of “a poisonous solvent sold by counterfeiters and mixed into drugs [which] has figured in mass poisonings around the world that killed thousands.” The blog entry originated from an article that came From China to Panama, a Trail of Poisoned Medicine by Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker and was published on 6 May 2007 in the New York Times.

The New York Times has followed that article up with another one today. This is titled D.A. Tracked Tainted Drugs, but Trail Went Cold in China and is by Walt Bogdanich and discusses

Two poisoning cases 10 years apart illustrate what happens when nations fail to police the global pipeline of drug ingredients.

The real worry about all this is that the counterfeiting affects the users, not by making the real product more expensive but rather by killing the user. Even more worrying is the attempt by China to preserve its reputation rather than enhance its reputation as a responsible member of the world.

The times noted:

The F.D.A.’s efforts to investigate the Haiti poisonings, documented in internal F.D.A. memorandums obtained by The New York Times, demonstrate not only the intransigence of Chinese officials, but also the same regulatory failings that allowed a virtually identical poisoning to occur 10 years later. The cases further illustrate what happens when nations fail to police the global pipeline of pharmaceutical ingredients.

Innocent people die but reputations must be preserved. I said it before and I will say it again, this is the worst kind of counterfeiting. It is a good tim, however, for China to show that it is a responsible global citizen, rather than trying to protect a reputation that is tainted already.

The Chinese talk the talk about cracking down on Piracy and Copying but a quick trip to Silk Street in Beijing shows that it really is only talking to talk. It’s time for the Chinese to put their boots on and start walking the walk.

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