May 27, 2013
Every year about 120,000 premature babies in the U.S. and 370,000 other children and adults need parenteral nutrition (PN), sometimes for months or more. Parenteral nutrition usually contains 20 common vitamins and minerals – like calcium, zinc, phosphorous and vitamin A – specially formulated for intravenous injection. Yet in the last two years more than 15 infants and children have died and many, many more have been crippled by bone disease, eye problems, heart failure, liver failure, stunted growth and various infections due to an acute shortage of these drugs.
This shortage does not exist in Europe, South America or Asia. Why in the U.S.? Because the five drug companies here that make 80 percent of these generic drugs have all reduced or stopped their production entirely, claiming they can’t make enough profit on them! And the government has neither forced them to produce the drugs, nor allowed imports from countries where these drugs are available and of higher quality than here in the U.S.!
For its very survival, the working class must end this system where the bosses and their government put profits before our lives and the lives of our children.