Researchers have developed a simple test to determine the safety of heparin, a blood thinner, according to news sources.
In 2008, several people died and many more were seriously injured after receiving dosages of heparin that had been altered with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS), a synthetic dietary supplement that can be taken to treat osteoarthritis. It can serve a similar purpose as heparin in that both prevent blood-clotting. However, OSCS can also cause anaphylactic reactions in some individuals, which often prove fatal. In this case, it was proven that OSCS was added to heparin as an Economically Motivated Adulterant (EMA) in order to cut costs, as OSCS is relatively inexpensive.
Tests to detect the presence of EMAs have been expensive and must be conducted in laboratories, but researchers created a simple test in which samples change color if OSCS has been added. Researchers also found that the test can detect other EMAs. They have developed a portable test that can detect very small amounts of EMAs, which will further guarantee the safety of heparin for patients.
As a product liability lawyer, I am glad to see that researchers have made headway in making these drugs safe for everyone who needs them. As a product defect lawyer, I can tell you that drug tampering or inconsistencies is not as uncommon as one might think. Always be careful taking any kind of drug, and make sure the description matches the drug. If you begin experiencing odd side effects, contact your physician immediately. If you’ve experienced pain or loss like the victims of the altered heparin drug did, it’s also in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer. Our Los Angeles law firm is here to help you and to protect your rights as a consumer.