Conscious Flow Radio

Thursday, May 1, 2008

FDA Finds Contaminated Vaccines at Merck

Federal inspectors documented unwanted "fibers" on the stoppers of vaccine vials at Merck & Co. Inc.'s vast vaccine plant in Montgomery County.
They also found instances of contaminated children's vaccines and complaints that were not always investigated at the West Point plant.
The report comes as demand for Merck's vaccines is surging. The company began selling four new vaccines in 2005 and 2006, pushing up total vaccine sales from $1.1 billion in 2005 to $4.3 billion in 2007.
The West Point plant, where Merck makes most of its vaccines, has had issues before. Bulk production of varicella-related vaccine for chicken pox has been down for many months, leading to shortages. The supply of Vaqta for hepatitis A also has been disrupted.
In June 2006, the company paid $20 million in a consent decree with authorities after a chemical spill shut down recreation on the Wissahickon Creek and closed water-intake pipes on the Schuylkill.
In December 2007, the company voluntarily withdrew 1.2 million doses of the childhood vaccines PEDVAXHIB and COMVAX because executives said they could not guarantee the products' sterility.