Heparin contains a substance that is extracted from the intestines of pigs and is collected in slaughterhouses and on farms.
The main ingredient produced for Heparin in China had a price increase of nearly double to the prior year. This was less than six months before hundreds of American patients began having severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions to the medication.
The unusual increase of the price should have been a red flag to drugmakers that something significant—and perhaps dangerous—was happening to the ingredient of a medication widely used in life-threatening situations. Heparin contains a substance that is extracted from the intestines of pigs and is collected in slaughterhouses and on farms.
The FDA found that that heparin made in China had been contaminated with inexpensive over-sulfated chondroitin, an altered version of a widely used dietary supplement.
According to the report, "the price of crude heparin exported from China went from $629 per kilogram in January 2007 to $1,507 per kilogram in December. The cost of refined heparin exported by China rose at about the same rate as that of raw heparin—strongly suggesting that the increase was driven by the price of the raw material rather than by processing problems."
This source informs that the price spike should have alerted the makers.