Counterfeit Insulin Needles Found in UK

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What: A batch of counterfeit insulin pen needles emulating those made by Novo Nordisk were discovered in the United Kingdom. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in England, “the needles were not made by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of NovoFine® and do not comply with the company’s stringent product quality standards.”

When: March 27, 2009

Where: The United Kingdom

Who: Novo Nordisk

Additional details:

On March 27, 2009, Reuters reported that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) found a batch of counterfeit insulin pens imitating those made by Novo Nordisk. The counterfeit batch was labeled as NovoFine® needles 31G (.25mm x 6mm) with the lot number 08J02S.

According to Britain’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Novo Nordisk was alerted to the issue after receiving two customer complaints in England in March. On March 27, MHRA issued a Medical Device Alert (MDA) to warn pharmacists and healthcare providers about the contamination.

In a statement, MHRA warned patients about the consequences of using the counterfeit needles, which included “adverse reactions; pain and discomfort; infection and difficulty attaching the needle to the pen injection device.”

As of April 2, 2009, there were no indications that the counterfeit needles had reached supply lines outside of the UK, and no arrests had been made in connection with the case.

Related Sources:

UK discovers counterfeit insulin pen needles,” Reuters. March 27, 2009.

Counterfeit NovoFine® needles discovered in England,” Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, England. March 27, 2009.

Insulin Pen Needles: Labelled as Novo Nordisk Ltd. NovoFine® Needles 31G,” Medical Device Alert, MHRA. March 27, 2009.