Baxter was one of the many pharmaceutical companies, which produced heparin till 2008. The  company suspended production for a period of time after finding contamination had occurred during its manufacturing process.  Heparin has been commonly used for thinning of blood. It has been used for years in United States as an anticoagulant or a blood thinner. It has been widely used in surgical or other medical processes.

Baxter routinely monitored heparin usage. In 2008 they found an unusual increase in allergic-type reactions for patients using the drug in the United States. Baxter voluntarily recalled heparin from market and manufacturing of heparin vials was suspended. After investigations, much of the medicine was found to be contaminated by over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS), which was difficult to detect with standard quality tests. This lead to recall by other heparin-manufacturing companies as well.  Manufacturers modified their formulations for Heparin and the drug was reintroduced to the market.

Heparin is formed by anionic mucopolysaccharides, also known as glycosaminoglycans, that exist in a straight chain heterogeneous group. It has blood-thinning properties and prevents blood clotting. The main sugars present in heparin are:

(a) α-L-iduronic acid 2-sulfate,

(b) 2-deoxy-2-sulfamino-α-D-glucose 6- sulfate,

(c) β-D-glucuronic acid,

(d) 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-a-D-glucose and

(e) α-L-iduronic acid.

All these sugars occurs in decreasing amounts in the order (2)

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