FDA Inspects Wrong Plant in Heparin Fiasco

It turns out that the FDA did inspect a Chinese drug manufacturing plant after all. It just wasn’t the plant manufacturing the active ingredient in heparin. If you haven’t been following this story, the plant where the active ingredient in heparin was manufactured has a similar name as the one the FDA inspected. Oh well, we could say mistakes happen, especially when you factor into the equation an overworked, understaffed FDA and a plant inspection that took place in China. However, people died as a result of the mistake and hundreds of others had adverse reactions to the heparin.
It’s scary to think that the FDA isn’t required by law to inspect such Chinese plants. The task would be impractical anyway. Yet, we don’t even know the number of foreign plants shipping pharmaceuticals into this country. How could we possibly inspect them or monitor them. It seems to me that this issue has risen to the level of a serious threat to the US. If our pharmaceutical supply can not be monitored for safety, how can we guarantee consumer safety and a decent quality of life?