By GARDINER HARRIS
New York Times
WASHINGTON — After a contaminated medicine from China was linked to as many as 17 deaths in the United States, members of Congress clamored for changes while regulators defended their actions.
The drug was a common antibiotic, and the year was 1999. But in recent weeks, the Food and Drug Administration has faced an almost identical crisis.
Nineteen deaths have been linked to contaminated heparin, a crucial blood thinner manufactured in China. Again the drug agency became aware of the problem only after hundreds were sickened. Again Congress is investigating.