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December 10, 1973

Heparin Standards: Relation to Sources

Author Affiliations

The Upjohn Company Kalamazoo, Mich

JAMA. 1973;226(11):1359. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230110047019

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To the Editor.—  I wish to correct a misleading statement that appeared in your consultant's answer to the question regarding "Stability and Biological Activity of Various Brands of Heparin Solution" (225:1131, 1973). The author stated, "Because various animals are killed in abattoirs, even the pharmaceutical houses cannot be certain that only porcine mucosa or bovine lung has been used." Admittedly, the producers of porcine mucosal heparin, including Upjohn, cannot ordinarily be 100% certain that their product does not also contain heparin derived from mucosae of cattle or sheep. However, this is not true of bovine lung heparin, for the following reasons:

  1. Upjohn sources indicate that Upjohn is presently, and has been for several years, the sole commercial supplier of bovine lung heparin in the non-Communist world. Your consultant listed eight heparin lot numbers, along with manufacturer's name and tissue and species of origin, that included one lot of bovine