Large vials lead to hepatitis infections

Apparently manufacturing larger vials of propofol  is cheaper for the producer so even after the cases of infectious hepatitis starting occurring, the producer, Teva has resisted repackaging into smaller vials.

True, Teva clearly labels the vials as single-use but still the temptation to use vials for one than one patient has been too much for some health workers (“waste not, want not”.)

Oddly, this is similar to what occurred in the tattooing industry years ago. In spite of the fact, that the tattoo artists started using single use needle, the incidence of infectious hepatitis continued to be quite high.  This went on until someone realized that the single use needles were being reloaded from multi-use inkwells.

Once that realization was made, the tattoo artists switched to single use needles and single-use inks.  After that change, the incidence of hepatitis being spread by tattooing rapidly declined.

Surely, Teva, which is the biggest of the pharmaceutical companies can follow the example of the tattoo artists.

from Jim Edwards at BNET Pharma blog


….Teva received a warning over dirty manufacturing practices in December 2009 after the drug was recalled in July 2009. A propofol shortage followed that.

As for the hep C infections, the company continued to sell the bigger vials even though it knew the vials were being reused, generating infections:

Teva was aware of the potential danger, having logged 148 previous hepatitis C infections blamed on reuse of single-use vials of propofol, [plaintiffs attorney Robert Eglet] said. “They knew it was a problem. They knew there was multidosing with these vials.”

more via $500M Verdict Against Teva Exposes Drug Industry Secret: Dose Packaging Manipulation | BNET Pharma Blog | BNET.


  1. Doug Yunker

    Agreed that single dose means single dose, but the idiot anesthesiologist was also using the same syringe/ needle for different patients. This practice led to the hepatitis not reusing the vial.

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