Fifth patient level recall for 2010
Medsafe has advised the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) that there will be a patient level recall of one batch
of Novo Nordisk’s GlucaGen® Hypokit 1mg injection. This is the fifth recall for 2010.
The GlucaGen® Hypokit 1mg injection is used for the treatment of hypoglycaemia. Patients are required to reconstitute
this injection before use. The recall is a result of reported cracks in some of the syringes that are used for
reconstitution. Reported cracks may result in leakage or microbial contamination.
Medsafe are asking community pharmacists to contact all patients who have had the affected batch dispensed to them.
Patients should return their stock to a pharmacy for a replacement.
Although medicine recalls are at present the subject of litigation with community pharmacist and Guild President, Ian
Johnson, the Guild will be advising its members not to delay the recall process for discussions regarding recompense,
due to patient safety.
“Community pharmacists’ primary concern is patient safety,” says Ian Johnson, President of the Guild. “As the health
professional people see most often, community pharmacists are central to managing such recalls. They take their role as
medicines experts very seriously and will ensure their patients are well informed about this recall.”
Pharmacists should keep a record of their time and costs in doing the recall and are advised that they should send a
bill to Novo Nordisk for the recall service provided at the company’s request.
The number of units likely to be affected by the problem is low, but the risk to patient safety is high. Only one batch
has been distributed in New Zealand. This batch is YW60362 and has an expiry date of November 2011. There are approximately 1,588 units in distribution – units are most likely to be
in pharmacies, doctors’ surgeries and at patient level.
This is the fifth medicine recall community pharmacists have been involved with this year, including 27 May’s patient
level recall by Mylan NZ of all strengths of Pacific Atenolol tablets.
The Guild has a key role in the current Ministerial review of the medicines recall process and continues to argue that
pharmacists must be recompensed for the work involved in such recalls.
“Expecting the work to be done for free is nonsense,” says Guild Chief Executive, Annabel Young.