The FDA has announced that they now believe that the ingredient found in tainted lots of Baxter’s Heparin was most likely not a mistake. The compound, a heparin-like substance identified last month as a modified form of chondroitin sulfate, is cheaper to produce than heparin and was probably used for economic reasons. The FDA has no specific evidence of fraud at this time, but FDA commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach, told reporters that the chemical would not have been derived in any of the normal procedures used to extract heparin from pig intestines.
The tainted stocks of heparin, mostly recalled in February, have been linked to as many as 62 deaths. Baxter and their ingredient supplier Scientific Protein Laboratories claim that the contamination occurred before the product reached either company. If profit was the motive and fraud can be proven, all of those involved could be in for a very rocky road ahead. The FDA has said that they will not investigate the motive for the use of the contaminating compound, but will leave the investigation up to Chinese authorities.