Drug Tied to China Had Contaminant, F.D.A. Says

The New York Times continues its reporting on the heparin scandal with news that the drug sold in the U.S., which has been linked to 19 deaths, was contaminated with a counterfeit fake version of the real thing:

Routine tests failed to distinguish the contaminant from the drug, . Only sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging tests uncovered that as much as 20 percent of the product’s active ingredient was a mimic blended in with the real thing. Federal officials said they did not know what the contaminant was.

…Heparin is made from pig intestines. Scientific Protein Laboratories, based in Waunakee, Wis., bought raw heparin produced in some cases in small, unregulated family workshops in China and processed it in plants in Wisconsin and China, according to heparin traders and producers in China. Baxter International purchased the active ingredient from Scientific Protein and sold the finished drug.

March 13, 2008 8:03 PM
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