Baxter International Inc. Chief Executive Robert Parkinson told company shareholders Tuesday that Baxter has yet to experience significant legal costs related to the rising deaths linked to its recalled blood thinner heparin.
Ah, Mr. CEO, may I ask a few followup questions? Has the FDA counted more than 80 deaths and more than 1,000 adverse events in the U.S. alone from Baxter’s tained heparin? Are there already lawsuits pending around the country and shouldn’t we reasonably expect a concolidated MDL class soon? Isn’t saying you have insignificant legal costs now exactly what you would expect at this stage? Aren’t you expecting signifcant legal fees and expenses and much greater costs in verdicts and settlements?
Maybe this post could be a cheap shot because this quote could be taken out of context. But Baxter needs to realize that it has both legal and ethical culpability here. Baxter cannot simply say, “Oh, it is all the Chinese fault.” One Baxter investor asked whether Baxter has taken steps to “close the loopholes” in its heparin supply chain to make sure another disaster does not occur with heparin or any other medications.
Speaking of the Chinese, China’s State Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that Baxter has not fully cooperated with their investigation into the heparin fiasco and apparently did not receive heparin samples it sought during an April 22 visit to the Cherry Hill facility. I really cannot imagine Baxter is stonewalling the Chinese investigation but Baxter does need to give the Chinese every opportunity to investigate if it looking for any accountability from China.