The Anaphylaxis Campaign wrote to the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in March expressing concern at the issue of the prescribing of generic adrenaline auto-injectors that may differ from the device that a patient has been trained to use. We requested that they alert prescribers to this issue and that they advise that adrenaline injectors be prescribed and dispensed by their proprietary names.
The issue was also raised by a London NHS Allergy clinic and resulted in a memo, entitled Significant Event Audit – Learning from Incidents No 4 – Adrenaline Auto-Injectors, being produced by the Brent Prescribing Team. It was sent to GP practices, community pharmacies and community nurses in Brent in June 2012. It is also being sent their local secondary care Chief Pharmacists and the Brent UCC.
We have received a response from the MHRA that includes the following:
“Thank you for bringing to our attention the potential issues with generic prescribing and ‘script switching’ of adrenaline auto injector products. I am able to inform you that the MHRA is currently actively considering the matter of prescribing by brand name and that your comments and the attached audit incident report have been fed into this review for consideration. On completion of the review, I will be able to reply to the specific points that you have raised. I am unable to give a precise timescale for this, however will provide you with an update around mid-September.”