Heparin and the Human Face of Adverse Patient Reactions

We all know that physicians must distance themselves from patients to keep from becoming too emotionally involved in each case.  Perhaps this applies to drug development and manufacturing as well, and industry profesionals may risk viewing adverse patient reactions as a mere statistic. Emotional connection to the patient is essential to preventing future quality control disasters like the adulterated Heparin case now playing out on a global stage. This week, those who lost family members injected with contaminated Heparin, testified before the House. One man lost both his wife and his son.  Since a picture says a thousand words (and a video clip, several thousand), here's a quick montage of multimedia sound bites. A California network offered very concise coverage in this clip.  Hear more from this widow in this sound bite , which includes a statement from Baxter's top executive (notice Janet Woodcock in the background).  This very brief Associated Press clip, from last week,  shows FDA Commissioner Van Eschenbach on the hot seat before Rep. Dingell, who repeatedly drums on the table.  It is something of a classic, illustrating the relationship that FDA leadership have with U.S. legislators.  ( The clip was cut off before Von Eschenbach could  elaborate on the tremendous costs that would be required to inspect the growing number of overseas plants.) We'll run more in depth coverage of the testimony in our next issue. By the way, FDA's public relations team appears to be embracing Web 2.0 and digital media in a big way.  Has anyone missed reading  (or listening to) "Andy's Take," FDA Commisioner Von Eschenbach's blog?  AMS