US says contaminated blood-thinner came from China
Thu Mar 6, 6:30 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Batches of the recalled blood thinner heparin, which contained an unidentified contaminant and has been linked to 19 deaths, have ingredients that came from China, the US government said Thursday.
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to prove that the contaminant was the cause of the deaths as well as other adverse health effects including allergic reactions.
But the FDA said that all batches of heparin linked to health problems and deaths were made with ingredients that came from China.
"At this point, we do not know whether the introduction was accidental or whether it was deliberate," said FDA deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock.
"We don't know if any of the heparin products worldwide might contain this contaminant and that is something we are going to be looking into."
Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) tests performed on the anti-coagulants showed that up to 20 percent of the active ingredient in the medication contained the unknown contaminant, the FDA said.
On February 11, the FDA announced a limited recall of Baxter International pharmaceuticals' multi-dose heparin and on February 28 the lab expanded the recall to include nearly all heparin being produced.
The injectable drug is made in part from pig intestines. Baxter's supplier, Scientific Protein Laboratories based in Wisconsin, sometimes buys the raw ingredients from unregulated shops in China, according to the New York Times.
Come oooon....Free market! Hurry up and respond to the constant threat that is Chinese products! I know cheap is good, but alive is better!