Complete recall of Nurofen Plus in Ireland over sabotage fears
All packets of Nurofen Plus in Ireland were recalled by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) today over fears they may have been sabotaged with antipsychotic drugs after an alert in the UK.
“Whilst the UK implicated pack size of Nurofen Plus of 32 tablets is not available for sale on the Irish market and there is no evidence at this time that packs of Nurofen Plus in Ireland are affected, the IMB, as a precautionary measure, has initiated a recall of all packs from Irish wholesalers for checking,” a statement from the board said.
A Scotland Yard investigation is under way to determine who was behind the plot to put tablets of the prescription medicine Seroquel XL in the packets of the headache pills.
Strips of Seroquel, used for treating schizophrenia, had been deliberately cut to fit inside the packets of the painkiller tablet.
A safety alert was sparked on Thursday when Seroquel tablets were found inside three packs of Nurofen Plus in Boots stores around London at Victoria, Beckenham and Bromley. Two capsules at the end of the strip had been removed.
Fears of sabotage appeared to be confirmed yesterday when two further packets of the headache pills were found to have been tampered with – one of them containing Seroquel and the other Neurontin, an anti-epileptic drug.
In a statement, the manufacturers Reckitt Benckiser said: “The safety of our consumers is paramount. Even though there have been no serious health consequences to any consumer, we will not take any risk regarding the quality or safety of our products.
“Sabotage is suspected and we are working with the police on a formal investigation to find the person or persons responsible. Distribution of Nurofen Plus has been halted at this time.”
The issue is believed to have arisen at an unknown wholesaler and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has launched an inquiry.
The large Seroquel XL 50mg capsules have gold and black packaging, while the Nurofen Plus tablets are smaller and have silver and black packaging.
Pharmacists have been requested to check all packs of Nurofen Plus that are available in pharmacies for the presence of rogue blister strips or patient information leaflets and to immediately report any found to the IMB.
The statement by Virgo Health said: “Nurofen Plus is being recalled. Consumers are being asked to return packs of Nurofen Plus to their nearest pharmacy following five reported cases of other manufacturer’s medicines being found in boxes of Nurofen Plus.
“Sabotage is suspected and we are working with the police on a formal investigation to find the person or persons responsible. Distribution of Nurofen Plus has been halted at this time. This decision has been taken in full consultation with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency as a precautionary measure.
“Consumers are advised to return any packs of Nurofen Plus to any pharmacy where a refund will be provided. Pharmacists are advised to return stock to their wholesaler from where it will be collected.”
Dr Aomesh Bhatt, medical director for Nurofen Plus said: “We are taking this matter extremely seriously and have decided to recall all packs of Nurofen Plus as the most prudent course of action in the current circumstances.”