Heparin is a blood thinner often used in surgery and dialysis, and this year, the United States Food and Drug Administration linked contaminated versions of the thinner to 19 deaths. After much testing, the truth came out--the heparin wasn't heparin at all, but a counterfeit attempting to mimic the effects of the real thing, with tragic results.
"What a difference a year makes.
After many near misses and warning signs, the heparin scare has eliminated any doubt that, here and abroad, regulatory agencies overseeing the safety of medicine are overwhelmed in a global economy where supply chains are long and opaque, and often involve many manufacturers.
“In the 1990s governments were all about trying to maximize the volume of international trade,” said Moisés Naím, editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine and author of “Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy.” “I’m all for that, but I believe this decade is going to be about maximizing the quality of that trade, not quantity.”
Mr. Naím said the heparin scare is already having a “huge” impact, fueling worldwide anxiety over imported medicine and a growing demand for consumer protection."In addition to the Times article, Sue Hughes of Medscape writes that 350 adverse reactions to Baxter (the company which produces the heparin) products have been reported, with at least 40% considered serious.
Read the full New York Times article here
FDA Recalls Heparin
For questions contact Baxter Inc.
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