Current status of the investigation into possible problems with hypodermic needles

The Health Care Inspectorate has taken note of the allegations made in an edition of the television programme EenVandaag, to the effect that a manufacturer of hypodermic needles has deliberately distributed substandard products which could pose a risk to patient safety. In association with the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and its European partners, the Inspectorate is to conduct an immediate investigation. The findings of this investigation will determine the action to be taken.

As yet, the Inspectorate has insufficient information to justify ordering the immediate withdrawal of the products. The facts must be ascertained as quickly as possible to determine whether there is indeed any risk to patient safety. Samples of the hypodermic needles have therefore been taken from the factories in Belgium and from various locations in the Netherlands. The RIVM will subject these needles to rigorous testing and analysis. This is likely to take a matter of weeks. If the investigation reveals that there is, or has been, any risk to patient safety, the Inspectorate will take appropriate measures. Until the results of the investigation are known, the Inspectorate advises the use of alternative hypodermic needles, if available, rather than those supplied by Terumo. This is no more than a precautionary measure at this stage.