U.S. Joins Europe, Australia for Drug Factory Inspections

The United States is joining with Europe and Australia in coordinating inspections of factories in China and India that produce raw materials for drugs.

U.S. officials say this will allow regulators to cover a bigger territory. The pilot program will focus first on facilities in China and India.

Contaminated heparin, made from Chinese ingredients, has been linked to dozens of deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions. The blood thinner drug has been recalled by Baxter International and the U.S. has blocked imports from the Chinese company.

Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said Wednesday there is a pressing need for new tools to deal with changes in the global market.