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Defective Chinese products strike again

  1. Mar 15, 2008 #1
    This is bad:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-virus14mar14,0,4095393.story


    This is inexcusable:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-fda15mar15,1,5035088.story
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    The heparin issue is a real nightmare. There were screw-ups on both sides though. It wasn't just that the factory in China was getting contaminated supplies, but the FDA screwed up and wasn't inspecting them like they were supposed to be (they had the plant name wrong and thought they'd already inspected them!) I think Baxter had also inspected the plant on their own, but either didn't notice or chose to ignore the issues.

    I'm keeping a close eye on this one, because we use a lot of heparin in the research I do. We currently have some of the recalled product in our lab, but I'm waiting to hear what the contaminant is to decide if it is something that will interfere with our experiments (or put our sheep at risk...for example, if it's an allergen that affects humans, it might not affect sheep, but if it's a toxin, it might). We're holding off a bit on the next round of experiments just to let this get sorted out (we also don't want to be starting up something that will require a lot of heparin if there's a supply shortage because only one manufacturer is producing it right now...human patients have to get the priority for its use).

    I've heard all the cases of deaths have been people who received bolus injections (i.e., those with blood clots being given very large doses to break them up) and not those who have gotten slow infusions, as one would use for a more preventative treatment accompanying certain procedures. It's really a tough situation to be in, because no treatment means the patient is going to die in many cases, so one has to gamble with giving them a drug that has a good chance of being contaminated and hoping they don't have a bad reaction to it.
     
  4. Mar 15, 2008 #3

    mgb_phys

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    Viruses on legitimate software releases and products have occured for years ( even from companies like Apple and MS) and counterfeit parts aren't new - the helicopter crashes in the Iranian hostage rescue attempt 30years ago were thought to be due to counterfeit parts.

    I suspect some congressman is about to demand subsidies for a factory in their area to ensure reliable US supplies.
     
  5. Mar 15, 2008 #4
  6. Mar 15, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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    But that was Sony - we aren't afraid of the Japanese anymore, that's so 1986!
     
  7. Mar 15, 2008 #6
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2008
  8. Mar 16, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    Nope, it's the same company Germany is getting it from...or at least same Chinese source of the ingredient suspected to be tainted. The German cases helped narrow it down more quickly that it's the source of the ingredients and not the US plant that makes the final product. Baxter has a division in Germany.
     
  9. Mar 30, 2008 #8
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