Contamination of the blood thinner heparin was discovered earlier this year. One of the largest US suppliers of heparin is Baxter International, and Baxter recalled most of its heparin in February 2008 after patient deaths were linked to the product. Accorinding to the FDA, US deaths linked to contaminated heparin has increased to 81, up from the earlier count of 62. Twelve companies in China are the sources of the contaminated raw product that was part of the heparin linked to deaths. According to Chinese officials, even though the contaminated product came from China, they do not believe that the contamination caused the deaths. The contaminated product affected several countries, including France, Germany, Canada, Italy, and the US. According to the FDA, the contaminated product entered the global market in 2007. Testing has found contaminated heparin in IV drug products and some diagnostic tests. It is still unclear how the contaminated raw product became mixed with heparin.
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