“Heparin imported from China kills 18 people,” comment


Just another bad blotch on the Chinese pharmaceutical trade market. Chinese chemical companies are also largely responsible for providing steroids to U.S. underground labs. One Chinese company sold poison mislabeled as a drug ingredient and killed over 200 people in Haiti and Panama. Another sold cold medicine laced with diethylene glycol that in 2006 killed over 100. Diethylene glycol is usually used in antifreeze and brake fluid. Because of its’ relatively sweet taste it often poisons dogs and other animals upon exposure to open containers. Exposure to it causes liver damage and rapid kidney failure by elevation of the Blood Urea Nitrogen levels and creatine levels. Exposure also can result in hematuria. It is substituted for glycerol illegally by these illegitimate Chinese companies. Glycerol, also called glycerine, is much tougher to work with and also much more expensive. Substituting diethylene glycol provides a much cheaper alternative to normally expensive cold medicines. The only problem is it kills people.

Original Post:
November 11, 2008
Heparin imported from China kills 18 people
Heparin imported from China kills 18 people. Baxter International is the maker of the tainted Heparin. Baxter received a letter from the F.D.A warning about the Chinese plant identified as the source of contamination stating the plant had unclean tanks to make heparin, accepted raw materials from undependable vendors and did not have adequate ways to remove impurities. F.D.A. has discovered cheap fake additives to heparin in 2006. Poor inspections of plants have been acknowledged by the Bush administration and plans have been made to improve the situation. One cause of this crisis appears to be budget cuts to the F.D.A. that has caused a backlog in inspectors. F.D.A. would need decades to complete inspection of every foreign plant. The 1938 law “The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” enacted following the deaths of more than 100 people caused by ingestion of a solvent-laced antibiotic. The cut down on chances of another tragedy Congress passed the law requiring all new drugs undergo testing for toxicity. This law should have prevented the heparin tragedy but without enough F.D.A. staff to test drugs and inspect factories the heparin got on to the market and caused deaths.

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