Doug / 04-22-2008 / Defective products

Contaminated Heparin Linked to 81 Deaths

It has been reported that 81 deaths in the U.S. can be linked to a contaminated supply of the drug heparin, a blood thinner, imported from China. The deaths were centered around dialysis patients who use the defective products on a regular basis.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Chinese officials are at odds as to where the contamination occurred. Although the Chinese agreed that the heparin was contaminated, they said the deaths could not be attributed to the contaminant and they want to inspect the factory where the heparin was put into vials.

U.S. government officials are considering increased funding which will add more FDA inspection offices in China and increased inspections of the drug before it is exported. FDA director Dr. Janet Woodcock,

“assured patients, however, that all heparin supplies in the United States had been tested with the most sensitive assays and had been found to be uncontaminated.”

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