Sunday, April 13, 2008

Heparin probe highlights challenges of regulating global drugs market

From CBC News:
On a dusty lane in east China, a small factory sitting amid strawberry and vegetable fields processes chemicals from pig guts into heparin, a commonly used blood thinner linked to 62 deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions in the U.S. and Germany.

The mysterious problems with heparin from the factory and others like it - China's deadliest product quality scandal since Chinese cough syrup killed 93 people in Central America a year ago - dramatically illustrate the perils of shifting drug production offshore.

With recalls of heparin products now in six countries, it is an issue that regulators are scrambling to address. Some specific heparin products and certain lots from B. Braun Medical Inc. that were distributed in Canada are among those recalled in recent weeks. ...more

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