A large batch of medicines made by Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials (HPS) has had to be recalled.
HPS is a major pharmaceutical manufacturing unit that was set up by Huddersfield Royal Infirmary more than 50 years ago.
The site at Lindley mostly produces so called “unlicensed medicines”, which are typically bespoke products requested by doctors or chemists or children’s versions of licensed adult drugs.
But it also makes mainstream drugs, including the adrenaline used to treat boxers’ cuts.
On Monday this week HPS issued a ‘Class 2 Medicines Recall’ to the Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – meaning action was required to withdraw one of its products within 48 hours.
The product in question was Phosphates Solution for Infusion, 500ml. It was recalled after a “precipitate” in the infusion was discovered.
A pharmaceutical consultant who highlighted the issue to YorkshireLive commented: “A precipitate in an infusion is not a good thing.”
The consultant, who did not want to be named, added: “The problem was most likely spotted by a nurse or doctor as they check the clarity of the product before attaching it to the infusion equipment.
“The recall covers another 15 batches manufactured between June 8 and June 29 so there must have been a common constituent in all these batches for the Company to recall all batches made within the month.
“The product has a 12 month shelf life so the problem was seen very early in the life cycle.
“It seems as if the product is made very regularly and that any batches made in July have not been affected, so either they have stopped manufacture or have not seen the same issue with more recently manufactured batches.”
YorkshireLive asked HPS what the impact of the recall was on patients and what the solution was used for but did not get an explanation.
HPS managing director, Burrinder Grewal, said: “All medicines production has strict protocols in place and we have re-called a batch as a precautionary measure and notified the appropriate authorities.”
Phospates solutions for infusion appear to be for IV drips in hospitals.
They are used to treat people with severe burns, under-nutrition, alcohol poisoning, people with acute complications with their diabetes and some hormonal problems such as Cushing syndrome and issues with deficient thyroids.
The consultant added: “This particular medication is used to treat a wide range of conditions but to deliver the correct dose the phosphate must be in solution. It seems for whatever reason the phosphate has come out of solution so the patient would not get the intended dose.
“Given the nature of the medicine it is unlikely to be life threatening but it has been classed by the MHRA as a Class 2 so that is pretty serious, there are, on average only around 40 Class 2 recalls a year in the UK.”