Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale
What if your life-saving medicine contained deadly viruses–and the drug manufacturers, the government, and your own doctors knew, but failed to warn you? In the 1960s, a new treatment derived from human blood transformed the often-fatal genetic disease hemophilia into a treatable chronic condition. This "miracle" product was approved by the FDA despite the known risk of viral contamination - including hepatitis. Even as AIDS breached the nation's blood supply in the early 1980s, hemophiliacs were advised by their doctors to keep using the drug believing the benefits outweighed the risks. By the time the medication was pulled from the market in 1985, 10,000 hemophiliacs had been infected with HIV, and 15,000 with hepatitis causing the worst medical disaster in U.S. history. How could this have happened, and what would prevent something like this from happening again? BAD BLOOD recounts this cautionary tale from the perspective of six families affected by this tragedy and the doctors, nurses, and scientists who cared for them. Concluding with the community’s inspiring fight to right the system that failed them, this powerful story stimulates the public debate about the government's role and effectiveness in regulating the pharmaceutical industry today.
Starring Donna Shaw
Director Marilyn Ness