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Pharma firm facing charges after UK baby deaths

[LONDON] A pharmaceutical company will face charges over the supply of contaminated feed for premature babies, British police said Wednesday.

An investigation was launched after three babies died and another 20 needed treatment when they contracted septicaemia in 2014.

Following the probe, ITH Pharma has been charged with seven counts of supplying a medicinal product which was not of the nature or quality specified in the prescription on May 27, 2014, Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement.

It has also been charged with failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that patients were not infected by contaminants, between August 1, 2009 and June 1, 2014.

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The London-based company is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in the city on December 17.

"We have every sympathy for all the families affected, regardless of the cause," ITH Pharma said in a statement.

"However, we are disappointed by the decision to charge the company and will vigorously defend this case."

As the sole commercial supplier of "reactive feeding solutions" to the National Health Service, the company said it had manufactured more than 1.4 million components of "total parenteral nutrition".

"This product has helped thousands of extremely vulnerable infants survive premature and complex births," the firm added.

"ITH imposes rigorous environmental monitoring on its manufacturing process."

AFP