Class action lawsuit filed against Baxter over tainted heparin scandal

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Baxter claiming the drug maker substituted an ingredient in its blood thinner heparin with a cheaper, more dangerous one in order to reap more profits, according to the Madison-St. Clair The Record. Twenty-eight people are named in the lawsuit, most of whom are spouses of individuals who died after receiving injections of the tainted heparin. The lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County Court in Illinois.

Last March, after more than 100 people died and hundreds more were sickened after being given the tainted heparin, an investigation found that heparin manufactured in Baxter’s China plant had been contaminated with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS). OSCS mimics heparin and can cost substantially less to produce – $9 compared to $900. However, OSCS can cause serious allergic reactions which can lead to death.

The lawsuit states, “The recalled heparin was adulterated, misbranded, defective, unreasonably dangerous and unfit for its intended uses. Baxter placed tens of thousands of patients, including the Plaintiffs, at unnecessary risk of serious injury and/or death.”

It also claims Baxter wrongfully allowed the heparin to be placed on the market and “breached its express warranties that heparin had no dangerous side effects and that its ingredients were manufactured in a plant in accordance with FDA regulations,” according to the report.

The six-count suit seeks a judgment of more than $300,000 plus costs and other relief.