Suspension of Heparin Sales More than a Matter of Products Liability; Described as "a National Security Issue."
Since Baxter International announced recently that it was suspending sales of its multidose vials of heparin after four patients died and 350 suffered complications including allergic reactions, many of them serious and potentially life-threatening, significant concerns have arisen as to the effectiveness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's oversight of imported drugs. Baxter bought the active ingredient for heparin, which is derived from an enzyme in pig intestines, from Scientific Protein Laboratories, which produces heparin's active ingredient in its factory in Chagzhou, China. Scientific Protein moved production to China three years ago because the country is the world's largest supplier of pigs. Baxter processes, sterilizes and packages the finished product for distribution in the USA. The Scientific Protein Laboratories in Chagzhou was never checked by drug regulators in China because the plant has no certification from the government to manufacture pha