Updated: Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009, 6:20 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009, 3:26 PM CDT
(NBC) - Thousands of vials of stolen insulin are now being resold. This creates serious for diabetics across the United States and in Houston.
Mary Rose Kieschnik was hospitalized for her diabetes just a week ago. She is now dependent on insulin shots every day.
"It's really very, very serious," said Kieschnik. "To me, it's shocking that someone would steal medication like that."
The Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory about Levemir insulin, saying that 129,000 vials of the medication were stolen while they were being shipped in February.
The vials have resurfaced in a Houston "medical center," officials said. When asked if that phrase meant a doctor's office, hospital or a pharmacy, the FDA representative would not clarify.
"It's really very sad," said Kieschnik. "So many people depend on it as a life-saving method."
The FDA said it has received one report of a patient who suffered an adverse event after using a vial.
"It's incomprehensible why someone would steal insulin," said Dr. Ernest Bartimmo with Memorial Hermann Medical Group. "It's not costly and there's a limited market."
The FDA has narrowed the stolen vials down to three lot numbers: XZF0036, XZF0037 and XZF0038. The lot numbers are found on each vial and on the box.
Bartimmo said the vials could be dangerous.
"How do you know it's even insulin in there?" said Bartimmo.
Bartimmo said that if the insulin just got too hot it would not work. Patients could easily end up in the emergency room with their blood sugar out of control, he said.