Pharmaceutical company sentenced for mistake which left a toddler hospitalised
Pharmaceutical company Syri Limited has been fined today (2 March 2022) for supplying medicine with a lower than stated dose which resulted in a toddler needing hospital treatment for several days.
The company has been ordered to pay £51,000 within six months. It was also told, at Aylesbury Crown Court, to pay more than £100,000 in prosecution costs.
The 22-month-old girl was being treated for low magnesium levels and had a prescription dispensed by a pharmacy in Milton Keynes. As a result of a manufacturing error at the pharmaceutical company Syri Limited, the dispensed medicine was 88% weaker than the strength prescribed by the girl’s doctor. As a result, the medication was less effective and the girl began to experience seizures. She was admitted to hospital where she remained for several days while recovering.
Concerned about his daughter’s low magnesium levels, her father questioned the medication that had been supplied. The hospital reported the matter to Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which subsequently tested the dispensed medication against the prescription and discovered that it was understrength.
Further analysis resulted in extensive evidence being gathered that detailed flaws in the manufacturing process, which revealed this was not an isolated error.
Syri Limited pleaded guilty to selling a medicinal product, between 18 March 2016 and 23 March, which was not of the nature or quality demanded.
Laura Walters of the CPS said: “Syri Limited, as with all pharmaceutical providers, has a vital responsibility to produce medicines accurately and safely. Fortunately, the mistake it made was not fatal in this case. This was not an isolated mistake although our prosecution was only concerned with this one serious incident.
“These types of prosecutions are thankfully rare but this conviction and sentence should serve as a reminder for all pharmaceutical companies of the need for absolute care in providing essential medications to the public.”
Notes to editors
Laura Walters is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Specialist Fraud Division at the CPS
The Specialist Fraud Division is a dedicated CPS team playing a leading role in the fight against serious and complex economic crime and the financial exploitation of the public, using specialist legal expertise to deliver justice
The CPS Economic Crime Strategy is available on our website.