The FDA announced this week that 62 deaths have now been linked to the blood-thinning drug, Heparin. This new estimate is almost triple the 19 fatalities reported last month. The drug, which is generally used in patients with heart problems and those undergoing surgery, is believed to be contaminated with man-made oversulfated chondroitin.
This contaminant is said to mimic chondroitin sulfate, which is a naturally occurring substance derived from animal cartilage and used to treat arthritis. While the FDA is still investigating the matter, it appears that the tainted animal cartilage containing oversulfated chondroitin has come from unregulated mom and pop pig farms in China.
I hope people are finally starting to notice a trend here. Chinese manufacturers have been the common denominator in the recent influx of dangerous imports, including contaminated toothpaste, dog food, and lead paint toys. Even more frightening, however, is the fact that the FDA will not completely recall the batches of contaminated Heparin out of fear the hospitals will experience a shortage. Based on that fact, I don’t see this issue going away anytime soon- especially if the FDA continues to allow Chinese manufacturers to operate below the regulation standards imposed in the U.S.
We will continue to post information on the Heparin recalls as they occur, so check back regularly for any new developments.