Outsourcing Investigation Would Target Drug Makers

Senator's request for FDA probe draws bead on Pfizer

New London Day

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate U.S. companies' outsourcing of pharmaceutical production, specifically citing a Pfizer Inc. strategy that has led to several plant closings in the past two years, including the shutdown of the firm's facility in Groton.

Brown said his call for a probe comes as Americans face increasing concerns about the safety of medicines manufactured overseas, particularly since contaminated heparin manufactured in China made headlines earlier this year. The contamination has been tied to more than 60 deaths worldwide, and the Bush administration has asked for more FDA funding to pay for increased overseas inspections.

Calls to the offices of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney and U.S. Sens. Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd did not produce any immediate statements about their views on a possible probe into pharmaceutical outsourcing.

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