Chinese Factory Linked to Deadly US Drug

Blood-thinner 's active ingredient from plant not FDA inspected
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 4:46 AM CST
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. FDA officials have inspected just 7% of foreign factories making drugs sold in the US. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The active ingredient in a drug linked to four deaths and hundreds of adverse reactions in the US has been traced to a Chinese factory which has never been inspected by the FDA, reports the Wall Street Journal. The drug is a blood-thinner made by Baxter International, a   version of the generic drug heparin, which is used in heart surgery and dialysis to prevent blood from clotting. Baxter has halted production of the drug.

It's not yet known if the ingredient from China caused the deaths in the US, but the disclosure further undermines consumer confidence in Chinese products. China is now the world's largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. "American lives will remain at risk until the FDA commits the resources necessary to inspect imported drugs and drug ingredients," warned a US lawmaker.