Drugs firm ITH Pharma Ltd charged over St Thomas’ Hospital baby death

A pharmaceutical company is to appear at court next month after contaminated baby food was linked to deaths of babies four years ago including at St Thomas’ Hospital.  

ITH Pharma Ltd, based in northwest London, was charged on Wednesday in relation to seven babies, including three who died.

These deaths included nine-day-old Yousef Al-Kharboush who died on 1 June 2014 at St Thomas’ after he contracted septicaemia from tainted nutritional fluid.

A spokesperson from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our heartfelt sympathies are with the family of Yousef Al-Kharboush after what they have been through.

“We supported the parents at the time of Yousef’s death, and worked closely with Public Health England and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency as we were one of six trusts involved in their wider investigation.

“Now that the Met Police have charged ITH Pharma Ltd in relation to this case it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The company is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday December 17 charged with seven counts of supplying a medicinal product which was not of the nature or quality specified in the prescription.

A spokesperson for ITH Pharma said: “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 1.4-million 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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