Heparin Recall Brings FDA Oversight to China After Side Effects Cause Death

In the wake of more deaths related to tainted heparin imported from China, the FDA plans to open branch offices in China. 10 FDA staff members are to report to 3 different Chinese locations in the upcoming months, according to US Health Secretary Michael Leavitt. The move will be replicated in India which is also a larger exporter of food and drug supplies to the US.
While US-China cooperation in ensuring the safety of medical products imported into the country is a good thing, this move appears to be no more than window dressing by the Administration. How can 10 FDA staff members in 3 different locations in China possibly effect a considerable outcome in imports to this country? Chinese officials must be as engaged and willing to ensure product safety if the US consumer is to have any confidence that such important drugs as heparin are to be safe.