On Thursday, an Illinois jury ruled against drug manufacturer, Baxter International, Inc., and awarded $625 million to the estate of 63-year-old, Steve Johansen, who was given a blood-thinning drug that contained a contaminated ingredient while at Palos Community Hospital in 2007.
In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration discovered a link between contaminated heparin marketed by Baxter Laboratories and the Chinese supplier of that drug’s active ingredient. In the U.S., the contaminated heparin has been blamed for a number of deaths and serious allergic reactions, all of which have resulted in the filing of hundreds of lawsuits against the drug maker.
A spokeswoman for Baxter said that the company is taking responsibility for legitimate cases of harm relating to the contamination, and added that Baxter “will vigorously defend claims that are not consistent with the definition established by public health authorities.”
Baxter is currently working to overcome several product-quality and regulatory challenges, as well as the financial obstacles associated with U.S. healthcare overhaul.