Tuesday, May 06, 2008

and Here We Go...

The Chinese start the "active evasion" portion of this tragedy...asking if people who were taking a drug used in dialysis had kidney disease...

China accuses US of shoddy probe into tainted heparin

BEIJING - China's drug safety agency accused the United States on Tuesday of blocking Beijing's inquiry into a blood thinner linked to 81 deaths by refusing to provide details on victims and specifics about production.

Two Chinese experts who attended a conference on the drug, heparin, in suburban Washington, D.C., last month said the U.S. determined a contaminant was likely to blame without considering other possible factors.

"We need to resolve this in a scientific matter, not just by blaming a contaminant," said Jin Shaohong, a member of the drug evaluation committee of China's Food and Drug Administration. "I think it is too early to say that."

Besides the deaths, hundreds of patients have suffered severe allergic reactions to large doses of heparin, which is used in dialysis and other treatments.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it suspects the problems stem from a contaminant the agency discovered in supplies of raw heparin coming from China — a compound derived from animal cartilage that so closely mimics heparin that routine tests can't detect it.

The Chinese experts said U.S. officials and Baxter International refused to give them information to probe the possibility that drug interactions, patients' medical histories or safety issues after the raw material left China may have played a role.

link to full article

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