Cancer patient dies and three seriously ill after being given unlicensed chemotherapy drugs made by NHS provider

8 July 2023, 15:01

A patient has died after being given unlicensed chemotherapy drugs
A patient has died after being given unlicensed chemotherapy drugs. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A cancer patient has died and three others are seriously ill after being administered unlicensed chemotherapy drugs.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The patients were given the unlicensed medicine because Sciensus, the UK's biggest provider of drugs to be administered at home for NHS and private patients, had a manufacturing problem at one of its plants.

The company has admitted to giving the unlicensed version of cabazitaxel, a prostate cancer medicine, to four patients.

Three regulators have said they are investigating the incident, the Guardian first reported.

A spokesman for Sciensus said that "an isolated incident at our medicine manufacturing unit in April has affected four patients.

"We are deeply saddened that one of the patients has since died and wish to offer our sincere condolences to the patient's family and friends.

Read more: 'You've given me the gift of life': Cancer patient, 29, thanks LBC listeners who raised tens of thousands for treatment

Read more: Cancer sufferer, 29, needs to raise 'intimidating' sum for lifesaving treatment

"As soon as the incident was discovered, we immediately contacted the regulators, the patients and their doctors.'We are currently conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and are working with the regulators."

Regulators the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Care Quality Commission (CQC) and General Pharmaceutical Council, are all investigating.

"Patient safety is our highest priority," said Dr Alison Cave, the MHRA’s chief safety officer. "We are urgently investigating this issue and we will take any necessary regulatory measures to ensure patients are protected.

"We ask healthcare providers to report any suspected side-effects or medication errors to the Yellow Card scheme website and their local risk management system.”

A spokesperson for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said: "We are aware of these extremely serious incidents and are working closely with the General Pharmaceutical Council and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency who have oversight of the regulation of medicines delivery and safety.

"Our thoughts are with those affected and their families and loved ones. We will not hesitate to take any action necessary within our remit to make sure people using services are safe."

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said: “We wish to extend our sympathies to the patients and families who have been affected. We take all matters relating to patient safety extremely seriously.

"We are working closely with the other regulators involved in investigating this incident and have statutory powers to take action within our remit, in cases where there is serious risk to patients.

"Concerns over patient safety relating to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians or pharmacies should always be reported to us so they can be fully investigated."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Five people died when the Titan submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'

Loose metal on the Titanic or passing whales? What caused the mystery banging on the Titan submersible

Christian Brueckner (l) and Madeleine McCann (r)

Madeleine McCann chief suspect 'plotted to abduct and sell' a child while working in Algarve resort, it is claimed

Prince William has visited a London synagogue

Prince William returns to work as he shares emotional message from him and Kate on rise in anti-Semitism

The Hairy Bikers star, Dave Myers, has died aged 66.

'Heartbroken' Strictly dance partner Karen Hauer and Paul Hollywood lead tributes to Hairy Biker Dave Myers

Israel Palestinians Rafah Photo Gallery

Israeli troops ‘fire on people waiting for aid’ as Gaza death tolls hits 30,000

Paris Atmosphere – Liverpool v Real Madrid – UEFA Champions League Final

Leap-year newspaper raises money and laughs in France

Campaigners fear the Crooked House 'could be rebuilt straight'

Crooked House 'could be rebuilt straight', campaigners fear, as owners told to restore 'Britain's wonkiest pub'

Senegal Migrants Deaths

Dozens of migrants die off Senegal coast after boat capsizes

Spain Soccer La Liga

Football fan arrested for ‘death threats’ against girl wearing Real Madrid shirt

Kyle Ratcliffe, the father of Brianna Ghey's killer, has been jailed

Father of Brianna Ghey's murderer jailed for child exposure and indecent photo offences

Sarah Everard’s killer was ‘abusing women long before he joined the police’ as public inquiry slams repeated failures to stop him

Killer cop Wayne Couzens reported to police eight times prior to the killing of Sarah Everard

Exclusive
Sadiq Khan said there were failings across multiple police forces to identify red flags about Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens

‘Red flags’ about Sarah Everard’s killer should have seen him kicked out of police, Sadiq Khan tells LBC

Exclusive
https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/mayor-of-london-reveals-changes-coming-to-streatham-ltn/

Mayor of London reveals changes coming to Streatham LTN 'ASAP' which is causing 'huge problems'

Russia Putin

Sending Western troops to Ukraine risks global nuclear conflict, says Putin

Sarah Everard's family has released a statement following the Angiolini review

Read in full: Sarah Everard's family statement

Sarah Everard's family welcome report into killer police officer Wayne Couzens

'She died because he was a police officer': Sarah Everard's family welcome findings of Couzens inquiry