Talk:2008 Chinese heparin adulteration

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Neutrality[edit]

I disagree that this edit does much to improve the neutrality of the article. The statement that "it has been claimed" (which unnecessarily invites the [who?] template, since a reference was provided) only "fixes" a perceived problem by the addition of weasel words.

Going to the cited reference:

Federal officials stopped short of saying that the contaminant — constituting as much as 50 percent of the active ingredient in heparin — was counterfeit. “At the moment we don’t know definitely whether the contaminant was introduced intentionally or by accident,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s center for drug evaluation and research.

Even so, the authorities left little doubt that they believed that the contaminant was not an unintended byproduct of some manufacturing process.

From the Time article, cited elsewhere in the article:

To date, those 12 firms have not been identified by the FDA, Baxter or SPL. But the "working hypothesis," as Woodcock put it, is that the contamination was intentional. In other words, it was not the result of the filth from which crude heparin emerges. "It was economic fraud," said a senior U.S. official.

Why intentional? To cut costs. Heparin suppliers substituted a chemical--oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, or OSCS--that is derived from animal cartilage and used only in dietary supplements, not in medicines. The compound's key advantages: it is, as a Baxter spokeswoman puts it, a "virtual mimic of heparin" in most tests and, according to a congressional investigator, costs only $20 per kg, vs. $2,000 for crude heparin. The suppliers, investigators believe, colluded to substitute OSCS in the crude heparin they passed along for the standard price and pocketed the $1,980 difference for each kilogram they sold.

--Koppas (talk) 22:35, 4 May 2011 (UTC)