When logistics cause a pharma recall
Posted: by Stericycle on Jul 01, 2019
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a drug recall alert this week (27 June) affecting 69 pharmacy products.
What was unusual was that all of these products were pulled from the market because they had been taken out of the regulated medicines supply chain during distribution and later re-introduced.
That meant that the agency could not say for sure that the products were transported and stored in line with regulations.
The product was imported into the UK by B&S Healthcare in Italy and subsequently re-labelled with B&S Healthcare Livery. Healthcare professionals have been asked to check all of their stocks for the listed products, quarantine them and return them to the supplier.
While medical assessments were undertaken to determine whether there is a risk to patients, the MHRA decided to recall three products from patient level as a precautionary measure. The likelihood of the medicines being compromised is low; the consequences of a lack of effectiveness could prove serious, which is why they are being treated differently.
The three products recalled at patient level are Clexane 8000iu Injection 0.8ml; Neupro 4mg/24hr patches and Vimpat 100 mg tablets. So what do they do?
Clexane is used to stop blood clots forming or getting bigger, Neupro is used to treat neurological disorder Restless Leg Syndrome and Vimpat is an anti-epileptic drug used to treat partial-onset seizures.
The MHRA has committed to using a variety of tools to spread the message of the recall. They will use social media as well as contacting patient groups and charities.
Recalls in the pharmaceuticals category are not unusual, that said, they are not usually recalled for logistical reasons. While it is reassuring that the MHRA is on the case to get these products out of homes and pharmacies, people need to remain vigilant and think beyond themselves with recalls like these.
It would be prudent to check medicine cabinets of relatives to ensure they dispose of these products. Not everyone is on social media, neither are they always contactable by phone. News of a recall needs to reach everyone, which is why we at Stericycle Expert Solutions cater our approach to audience demographics, attitudes and habits. Not one medium is enough. There is no one size fits all approach to a successful recall.