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article imageInsulin death firms fined

By Tim Sandle     Jul 12, 2015 in Health
Sheffield - Two companies have been fined £550,000 ($860,000) as the result of the death of a diabetic patient who was injected with insulin syringes that actually contained no insulin.
Back in 2010, 58-year-old Neil Judge, a patient at a hospital in the U.K., suffered organ failure after he was injected with saline instead of insulin. The death of the man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire in England, was traced back to the companies who were linked to the production of the syringes. The incident happened at the Northern General Hospital, which is in the city of Sheffield. Mr. Judge suffered from diabetic ketoacidosis and died from multi-organ failure, through his body being denied insulin for 13 hours.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a disease associated with with type 1 diabetes. The condition arises from a shortage of insulin. When this occurs the body switches to burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketone bodies. These ketones cause complications and, in severe cases, can result in death.
The case was investigated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the U.K. body entrusted with the safety of medicines. The syringes were supplied by a company called Fresenius Kabi Ltd., and they were manufactured by the company Calea UK Ltd. Fresenius Kabi acted as a wholesaler.
According Fierce Pharma, Alastair Jeffrey, of the MHRA, said that the two companies are ”very closely linked” (they occupy the same site at Runcorn in Cheshire). They were also regarded to equally responsible. The chief enforcer for the MHRA said: “I hope this case serves as a clear reminder to others, as the MHRA will not hesitate to take enforcement action when serious failings occur.”
The BBC reports that Fresenius Kabi was fined £500,000 ($775,000) plus legal costs. The company pleaded guilty. Calea UK was fined £50,000 ($78,000).
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