Scientists say heparin tainted deliberately

Scientists are increasingly suspicious that the heparin scandal is a case of Chinese fakery. The contaminant found in recalled heparin batches appears to be a chemically altered version of chondroitin sulfate, the joint-pain supplement, that was mixed into real heparin deliberately. "A child could tell you it's counterfeiting," one expert told the New York Times. "This is a deliberate act of chemically manipulating a heparin-like substance with heparin to increase the yield.

But investigators haven't fingerprinted the contaminant exactly, and they haven't proven that it caused the severe allergic reactions--including deaths--linked to the tainted heparin; indeed, some tainted batches apparently didn't set off the reactions. Nor do the experts know who added it to the real thing, or when, or where.

More than a dozen top scientists are working to unravel the mystery. And to keep the mystery contaminant out of the U.S. drug supply, the FDA asked manufacturers to run sophisticated tests  n their heparin products and ordered all untested heparin to be stopped at the border for analysis.

- read the story in the New York Times

Suggested Articles

Post-Tesaro buyout, don’t expect GlaxoSmithKline to spring for more commercial-stage oncology products anytime soon.

Already a fast-growing blockbuster, Novo Nordisk's injectable Ozempic won a major heart-helping FDA nod that could bode well for its oral sibling.

Bayer's new Vitrakvi for tumors with NTRK gene fusions is meeting skepticism in England and Germany, where cost watchdogs on Friday rejected it.