Please alert your diabetic friends, family, colleagues, and students as to this alert from the US FDA:
LifeScan and FDA notified healthcare professionals and the public of counterfeit blood glucose test strips being sold in the United States for use with various models of the One Touch Brand Blood Glucose Monitors used by people with diabetes to measure their blood glucose. The counterfeit test strips potentially could give incorrect blood glucose values–either too high or too low–which might result in a patient taking either too much or too little insulin and lead to serious injury or death.
FDA also provides a full press release and links to other safety issues through their MedWatch program.
Not sure how much coverage this got in the MSM this weekend but this episode brings to mind two points. First, there are slime-sucking weasels out there who will do anything for a buck, such as wholesaling counterfeit blood glucose strips or diluting chemotherapy doses, regardless of the potential danger to others, many of whom might even be in their own families.
Second, this episode illustrates one of the good things about the US Food and Drug Administration – yes, as comprehensively cited by the Institute of Medicine’s, “The Future of Drug Safety,” they are an organization that is woefully understaffed, thereby often missing important safety issues, and can satisfy neither the public nor drug and medical device manufacturers.
However, the activities of some devoted professionals within the agency will likely avert dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths due to this alert.