Following the news of an urgent recall of emergency oxygen cylinders from one supplier, Hewi Ma of Brabners LLP writes a Q&A blog on the topic, especially aimed at a buyer or seller, in the present timeframe.
I am in the process of selling my practice. I understand there has been a recent notification about Tricodent Limited’s oxygen - what should I consider when checking my oxygen equipment?
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has recently advised that falsified medical oxygen has been distributed to a number of UK dental practices. When tested it was found that there was oxygen in the tanks, but it is not properly certified as medical oxygen. An assessment of risk to public health and patient safety has been completed and the risk was found to be low. The source of this supply has been identified as Tricodent Limited and a criminal investigation into the company that supplied this stock is ongoing.
The falsified product in circulation is labelled as follows: Medical Oxygen B.P PL No 04280/001 MEDIGAS OXYGEN
It is important for both a buyer and seller to be aware of this and the action that needs to be taken in each case.
If you are a seller, you should check your oxygen supplies and ensure you have not been supplied with this product. If you do find that any of your oxygen is labelled as shown above, stop using it immediately and replace it with legitimate stock. Authorised and licensed suppliers can offer advice regarding disposal of falsified cylinders. You should also contact the Senior Criminal Enforcement Officer whose details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/drug-device-alerts/class-3-medicines-recall-tricodent-limited-supplier-medical-oxygen-bp-medigas-oxygen-bp-el-23-a-slash-20
All healthcare professionals must ensure that medical oxygen supplies are procured only from authorised and licensed manufacturers or from authorised wholesale dealers of medical oxygen. It is important that you check that your practice suppliers are authorised and licensed by the MHRA. Your supplier should have a Wholesale Dealer’s Authority, which is supplied by the MHRA.
If you would like to check that a medical product has a valid license, you can do so here: https://products.mhra.gov.uk/substance-index/?letter=A
You can check if a supplier or manufacturer is licensed, here: https://cms.mhra.gov.uk/mhra/wda
As a buyer, you should check that these specific medical oxygen supplies are not at the practice. If they are, you should insist that replacement oxygen cylinders are in situ before you go ahead with your purchase of the practice. This is something that should be raised as part of the due diligence enquiries at the start of the transaction.
Your solicitor can raise a specific enquiry in light of this recent announcement.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a dental practice, make sure you instruct an expert legal team who know what questions to ask and have the knowledge to guide you with your responses.