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Drug recalled in UK still on sale here

AN emergency drug, used by people to treat potentially fatal, severe allergic reactions, which has been recalled in the UK, cannot be withdrawn here because there is no alternative.

The Anapen range of treatments for acute allergic reaction has been at the centre of a fault alert in the UK where patients have been advised to see their GP as soon as possible to look for an alternative product.

The pens, which contain adrenaline, are used by people who go into anaphylactic shock - a potentially fatal state - because of an allergy.

The Irish Medicines Board, however, says that unlike the UK "Anapen is the main product in the Irish market and, at this time, there is no alternative product that could provide sufficient replacement stock if Anapen was removed from the market".

The UK alert was launched because of a fault in the dose delivery time and volume through an auto-injector in the pens.

The Irish Medicines Board stresses that the product range will continue to be available to Irish patients despite a voluntary recall of the range in the UK.

It explains the problem "could result in a failure to deliver some or all of the adrenaline in an emergency situation", but that it was only found in a small number of units.

To date, the Irish medicines regulator has received no reports of problems with the Anapen range from patients or from the medical profession.