Baxter Healthcare Corp. has to stop producing multidose vials of heparin. The medication causes severe allergic-type reactions in some patients.
Baxter makes about half the heparin in the United States, thus the nation's operating rooms and dialysis centers may face the problem with getting the drug.
Baxter recalled nine lots of heparin on Jan. 17. But the complaints still come in. Baxter will continue to produce the single-dose vials of heparin, although there have been a few cases of patient reactions when doctors combined them for a large, quickly administered dose.
A Lee Memorial Health System is not going to stop or slow down its surgeries as there are some other suppliers of the drug such as the Illinois-based APP Pharmaceuticals.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration hasn't been getting complaints about the APP heparin, although the company is considered as a precaution.
Lee Memorial got rid of most of its Baxter-made supply at the time of the January recall. It has quarantined the rest.
NCH Healthcare in Collier and Lehigh Regional Medical Center also get their heparin from other sources; but they refuse to name them.
Still no one knows what was wrong with the making of the drug. The investigation of the manufacturing process should give the answer.