At the rate of additional levels of responsibility are coming down on the FDA, they might still yet need another budget increase. No doubt, things are pretty well stressed from all angles, but the issue with the Red Cross is serious by all means. Back in 2006 the FDA fined the Red Cross for failure to meet blood safety laws and it appears there the same issues have returned or never went away. BD
The continuing problems with the American Red Cross’ blood business land on the front page of this morning’s New York Times. Earlier this year, FDA Commissoner Andrew von Eschenbach went to a Red Cross board meeting and “warned members that they could face criminal charges for their continued failure to bring about compliance” with safety regulations, the article says.
This is a long-running problem for the organization, which has spent the last 15 years operating under a federal court order sought by an earlier FDA chief. Things have improved, and the Red Cross does do a good job of screening blood for the worst pathogens, such as HIV and hepatitis B.