/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: Chinese Factory Linked to Drug Heparin?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chinese Factory Linked to Drug Heparin?

WASHINGTON — A Chinese factory that has not been inspected by the Food and Drug Administration is the source for the active ingredient of a critical blood-thinning drug whose production was suspended this week after 350 patients reported ill effects from it.

At least four people died after being given the drug, heparin.
An F.D.A. spokeswoman, Heidi Robello, said Wednesday that the agency was making plans to inspect the Chinese factory as well as a finishing plant in New Jersey "as soon as possible."

She said that "it was yet to be determined" if the Chinese plant was the source of the problem that led to the spike in reports of problems with the drug's use.

Heparin is made from pig intestines. Ms. Robello said that she did not know whether the pigs used to produce the suspended product, made by Baxter International, came from China.

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