Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale [DVD] [2010]

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Special Features

  • Director's interview
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailer


Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale
As an inborn genetic disorder that affects one in around 5,000 males, hemophilia involves the absence of a specific blood protein necessary for clotting; without it, the body will hemorrhage uncontrollably whenever a blood vessel breaks. For years, physicians and drug companies sought a solution; then one arrived in the 1960s. A medication called Factorate seemed to help hemophiliacs immeasurably, and doctors, scientists and drug companies routinely touted it as a "miracle cure." Yet a delayed tragedy ensued: in preparing this formula, manufacturers collected plasma from sketchy sources and donors such as prison inmates, failed to do proper blood screenings, and all but ignored the tide of HIV and AIDS sufferers during the early 1980s. As a result, and estimated 10,000 hemophiliacs (including children) were infected with HIV and 15,000 contracted hepatitis. This quickly went down as the single worst medical disaster in U.S. history. Marilyn Ness's documentary Bad Blood relays this tragic story from the perspective of six families whose lives were ruined by the malpractice, as well as the vantage point of the doctors, nurses and scientists responsible. The program then expands from this focus to examine the broader issue of government regulation of the pharmaceutical industry. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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