18 March 2009 21:33 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--The discovery early last year that a heparin product made by Baxter Healthcare had been deliberately adulterated reflects the precarious state of the world’s drug supply, a Baxter executive said on Wednesday.
“I honestly believe we are dealing with a drug crisis, a crisis affecting product supply,” said Matt Anderson, corporate director of global supplier-quality for Baxter.
“This event cries out for action for us to reduce the risk of this happening again,” he said.
Over 50 people in the
The adulteration was traced back to
Baxter determined that “resting on old standards was no longer enough” and established several objectives for improvement,
First, he said, the company must have a risk-reduction plan that includes enhanced, standardised training for auditors. The company hopes that the training would improve the auditors' ability to identify problems during audits.
The company must also look at risk in a new way, he said, which includes anticipating how counterfeiters might attack Baxter’s supply chain; identifying high-risk products; and the use of role playing to enhance the development of emergency action plans.
Noting that the driving force for the adulteration of heparin was the temporary scarcity of pigs (the source of heparin) in
Baxter was also increasing knowledge of its supplier base in an effort to take greater ownership of its supply chain, the executive said.
“There are many examples out there,”
Finally, he said the effort to secure the supply chain must be integrated throughout the company to the highest level.
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