Pharmaceutical

Another lawsuit filed in tainted heparin scandal

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Wisconsin-based heparin manufacturer, Scientific Protein Laboratories and one of its major distributors, Baxter International Inc., claiming the companies allowed contaminated batches of heparin to reach hospitals and medical facilities, where it led to the death of a 59-year-old hemodialysis patient, according to The News-Enterprise.

Franke Leon Isom of Webster, Ken., died Dec. 14, 2007, a day after he was given heparin during treatment at Woodland Dialysis Clinic in Elizabethtown. Attorneys argue that Isom received part of the 55,000 gallons of heparin that was contaminated with over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS).

Earlier this year, a series of deaths and adverse allergic reactions from patients who had received doses of heparin led to an investigation that linked the reactions to lots of heparin made at Baxter International’s China plant. Further review found the heparin had been contaminated with OSCS during manufacturing in China. Shortly thereafter, the FDA ordered a recall. The tainted heparin is blamed for more than 240 deaths worldwide and caused hundreds more people to fall ill from allergic reactions to OSCS, such as hypotension.

The lawsuit, filed on the behalf of Isom’s estate, is one of 50 similar civil tort claims against Scientific Protein Laboratories and Baxter International, according to the news report. Attorneys argue that recalled lots of heparin were still found on hospital shelves months after the recall went into effect.