The latest news on the Heparin recall from Baxter International, Inc is that the batches of pig intestines were either accidentally or deliberately adulterated with over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, the FDA says. In fiscal 2007, there were a total of 714 Chinese facilities making drugs or drug ingredients for the U.S. market.
Heparin is derived from a mucus obtained from pig intestines and other animal tissues. Scientific Protein Laboratories owns a Chinese factory -- Changzhou SPL -- and buys additional raw heparin from other Chinese suppliers. According to the Wall Street Journal, 19 people have died and hundreds others have had serious allergic reactions to contaminated heparin (a blood thinner).
More than half the world's heparin comes from China.The heparin eventually ends up in drugs used world-wide by patients having surgery or who need dialysis. This begs the question, "aren't there enough hogs in the U.S. to supply the heparin?'