Medical Malpractice Site Claims Expired Sutures Being Sold To Vets

A website devoted to medical malpractice claims that “expired sutures are [on sale] ‘for education, research and veterinary applications.’ ”

Here are more highlights from the site:

Are you looking for cheap surgical supplies, such as Ethicon’s Panacryl or Vicryl sutures? Don’t care if they’re a bit “doggy”? Well, discounted and aging supplies are remarkably easy to find.

Just google eSutures.com. It describes itself as a discount distributor of sutures from various drug companies, including Ethicon, a division of Johnson&Johnson.

You can find out things about the veterinary drug market more easily than you can about the marketing of drugs for humans, because, I guess, the drug companies have thought that animals were going to be less troublesome. Since the pet food recall, they may be rethinking that position.

(Thanks to an anonymous tipster)

11 Responses to “Medical Malpractice Site Claims Expired Sutures Being Sold To Vets”

  1. Debra says:

    Quote from the website:
    “Panacryl sutures were voluntarily recalled by Ethicon, a Johnson&Johnson division, on March 28th, 2006, after a significant number of mostly abdominal surgery patients suffered nasty after-effects from use of the sutures: painful infections, rejection (even through the skin), and granulomas, (lumps of unabsorbed sutures mixed with scar tissue). Ethicon’s Vicryl sutures made it into the news in 1994 when a large quantity of sutures marketed under this name had to be recalled because of contamination. But according to the FDA only about one-quarter of the recalled sutures were ever actually recovered. So where did the rest end up?”

    A couple months after my dog was spayed, her scar, which had healed nicely, became inflamed, and a piece of suture material worked it’s way out. A second piece came out a couple days later. My vet said not to worry, it happens sometimes, but now I wonder if it happens because the suture material is defective. I think I need to call my vet and make sure he’s not using outdated or recalled supplies.

  2. menusux says:

    http://www.fda.gov/cvm/regofdevices.htm

    HOW FDA REGULATES VETERINARY DEVICES

    “Examples of devices include such things as needles, syringes, surgical instruments, prosthetic devices, X-ray equipment, certain diagnostic test kits, and dental appliances.

    “Device manufacturers who exclusively manufacture, or distribute veterinary devices are not required to register their establishments and list veterinary devices.

    “FDA does have regulatory oversight over veterinary devices and can take appropriate regulatory action if a veterinary device is misbranded, mislabeled or adulterated.

    “It is the responsibility of the manufacturer and/or distributor of these articles to assure that these animal devices are safe, effective, and properly labeled.

    “FDA recommends that devices should meet or be equivalent to the performance standards. This is especially important devices that can be used both in humans and animals, such as examination gloves, sterile catheters, infusion pumps, etc.”

    http://www.fda.gov/cder/hdn/hdn695.htm

    “Policy Questions On:

    “Is the sale of expired OTC drugs by a retailer a violation of the
    Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act?

    “We regard expired drug products to be adulterated within the meaning of
    Section 501(a)(2)(B) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which states
    that drugs must be manufactured, processed, packed, and held in
    conformance with current good manufacturing practice. The holding of
    drug products past their expiration dates supports the 501(a)(2)(B)
    charge.”

    Regardless of what use they’re sold for, it looks like there’s a legitimate FDA complaint here, since they view expired drugs when sold as adulterated. They’d also put a stop to someone distributing biologicals, such as blood or plasma, past expiry date. The problem with the sales of these expired sutures is that when these expired sutures are sold, they could wind up in anything living, including human beings, if someone thinks a little $ can be saved and patients won’t know the difference.

  3. 3FURS says:

    I read an article some years ago about , how hospitals sell their out-dated surgical supplies to the local vets. I had two dogs spayed over the years and both became infected and came open. They both had to be re-anestized and re-sown. When I asked my Vet about this information I had read, he said no some dogs, like humans, can be allergic to the suture and he would need to use a different type. He did the second surgeries for free. But these dogs were put at risk !!! I wonder how often this happens?

  4. menusux says:

    Just reported the site here:

    http://www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline/buyonlineform.htm

    There’s nothing stopping MD’s who do in-office surgeries from cutting corners and purchasing expired sutures at the site either.

  5. 3FURS says:

    ODE TO ITCHMO

    He saw a need He heard a cry
    of pet owners both near and wide
    Tho’ each of us thought we were alone
    there was someone there who was our own
    Itchmo heard and said We Will Unite
    and all together we will fight
    Our voices, my dears, will reach their ears
    and put an end to all your tears
    Our animals, in their own little way, will dance a jig
    and bring a smile to Rainbow Bridge.

  6. TEALCSMOMMY says:

    They are now using our pets as test animals in our own homes.

  7. 3FURS says:

    This is another example of how, without this site, we would think that ours was an isolated case.

  8. Wendy44 says:

    I used to work for a vet that actually had a guy who worked in a hospital bring her expired suture, then she charged people for it. Just one in a long list of unethical things that person did.

  9. Sandy Eisner says:

    I’ve been bedridden with some of the worst pain you can imagine from Vicryl sutures. I’ve begged doctors to remove it and they won’t. I don’t want to live like this. It HURTS!

  10. WEL says:

    MAXIDEX WARNING

    I had eye surgery and in the post-op pack was MAXIDEX(dexamethasone) drops by ALCON LABS.

    Two days later I was BLIND

    Use Google and enter EPOCRATES MAXIDEX to verify

  11. helpplease says:

    I know of a vet reusing the tubes that go in animals throats during surgery, and EXPIRED SUTURES, what can i do?


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