Possible Heparin Deaths Increase; Recall Expands

FDA investigating 'deficiencies' at plant in China
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 8:07 AM CST
Baxter International expanded its recall of heparin products on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Baxter International has expanded its recall of heparin products as the FDA said the number of deaths possibly linked to the blood thinner rose from 4 to 21, the New York Times reports. The agency said it found "deficiencies" at a Chinese plant that supplied the active ingredient. Baxter, which produces about half of the nation's supply, has now recalled virtually all of its heparin products.

More than 400 adverse reactions have been reported. Heparin is derived from the scrapings of pig intestines, often in small workshops that supply larger factories in China. The FDA has admitted to failing to inspect a supplier before Baxter started taking shipments from it in 2004.