Company charged over probe into deaths of premature babies at hospital defends its record

Police investigating the deaths and illnesses of babies at nine British hospitals, including Guy’s and St Thomas’s in Waterloo, have charged a pharmaceutical company with a series of offences.

London-based company ITH Pharma are accused of seven counts of ”supplying medicines not of the nature or quality specified” and failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure patients were not infected with contaminants.

The charges follow a four-year investigation by the Metropolitan Police into a contaminated batch of drip feed distributed to NHS hospitals in May 2014.

ITH Pharma, a private drug company, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 17 December.

One baby, nine-day old Yousef Al-Kharboush, died on 1 June and another on 10 June at Guy’s and St Thomas’s.
An investigation four years ago was initially carried out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), which licenses plants such as ITH Pharma to produce feed for hospital use.

Founders Adam Bloon and Karen Hamling, who is managing director, said in a statement today: “As founders of ITH we have every sympathy for all the families affected, regardless of the cause. However, we are disappointed by the decision to charge the company and will vigorously defend this case. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.

“Since 2008, ITH has manufactured more than 1.4million components of total parenteral nutrition and is the sole commercial supplier of reactive feeding solutions to the NHS. This product has helped thousands of extremely vulnerable infants survive premature and complex births. ITH imposes rigorous environmental monitoring on its manufacturing process. The company has always had a strong relationship with the MHRA and continues to receive exemplary ratings for quality and safety.”

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