Feds ID Extra Drug in Baxter's Recalled Heparin

FDA unsure if chemical was behind reactions to blood-thinner
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 1:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Food and Drug Administration has identified the extra ingredient found in samples of Baxter’s blood-thinning drug heparin, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Some batches of the drug—recalled in January after reports of allergic reactions—contained over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, but it is not certain that was the cause of the hundreds of reactions or 19 deaths linked to Baxter’s product.

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The samples of heparin and its active pharmaceutical ingredient found to contain the contaminant came from China, but it remains unclear whether it was added in an attempt to cut costs. "We cannot rule in or out whether this was accidentally or deliberately introduced into the product," said an FDA official, who added that the agency had started testing imported heparin. (Read more Heparin stories.)

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