Deadly Heparin Found in 11 Nations

FDA traces tainted Chinese blood thinner that killed 81
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 7:17 AM CDT
A small Chinese factory processing chemicals from pig guts into heparin has been linked to 19 deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions.    (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – The FDA has traced a contaminated blood thinner from a Chinese factory to 11 countries, the New York Times reports. Severe reactions to the contaminated heparin have been linked to the deaths of 81 Americans, but it wasn't immediately clear if the drug may have triggered fatalities in other countries. Chinese officials have denied that the contamination caused any deaths and have demanded to be allowed to inspect the US plant where the heparin was packaged.

“Heparin should not be contaminated, regardless of whether or not that contamination caused acute adverse events," said an FDA doctor, adding that the agency was fairly confident that contamination in the Chinese factory caused the severe reactions. The House will hear a bill today calling for far more rigorous inspection of Chinese products imported to the US.