It has been reported that doctors and pharmarcists over the UK have received urgent letters from Bausch & Lomb, asking them to remove packs of eye drops and return them to the company. Around 35,800 bottles of prescription eye drops have been recalled after it was found that they contained printer ink inside them.
The company, who are one of the biggest eye-care firms in the world, has sent the letters to several chemists and doctors and asked for the 1,780 batches, all of which contain 20 bottles in each, to be returned to their New York base, after it was discovered that a manufacturing blunder had contaminated all of the batches.
The blunder left the bottles with black particles in them which was later identified as printer ink, and as such, Irene Fazakerley, of the Scottish Government’s health department, said: “Bausch and Lomb is recalling the batch because black particles have been identified in some packs. Initial investigations suggest that the contaminant is printing ink, in which case we understand that the risk of toxicity is low. No other batches of this or any other product are affected. Healthcare Professionals are asked to quarantine remaining stock and contact the wholesaler from which it was obtained to arrange uplift and replacement.”
It is not thought that any bottles purchased by the general public will be at risk, as a spokesman from the drug watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said: “These eye drops are only used in hospitals and administered by medical professionals. We don’t anticipate that people will have them at home.”
Bausch and Lomb have not said why the error occurred, but do claim that to their knowledge, no one had been harmed by the botched lots of eye anaesthetic.
A spokeswoman for the company released a statement that said: “Bausch and Lomb is conducting a voluntary recall of a single lot of proxymetacaine 0.5% Minims Eye Drops Solution. We chose to initiate this recall after confirming a report of the presence of foreign particles in a product from this single lot. No adverse events have been reported which have been attributed to the defective product in this single lot. No other lots have been affected. We are working closely with the MHRA to provide updated information regarding this recall action.”
An MHRA spokesperson added: “There is no evidence that any patients are experiencing any problems from these eye drops and testing has shown that there is a low risk of any patients having any adverse reactions. This affected batch is not being used and we have alerted doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals about this issue. These eye drops are used as a local anaesthetic for eye procedures in hospital and are only used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. People who are worried or who have concerns can speak to their doctor.”