National trade body the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has produced guidance on the correct process to select authorised, licensed medical gas cylinder suppliers.
The BCGA’s specialist subcommittee for medical gases, TSC7, has drawn up the information to support a recall from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), over falsified medical oxygen.
Available at www.bcga.co.uk/bcga-issue-new-leaflet-22 the BCGA guidance is aimed at dentists, vets and First Aid Responders, as well as other professionals who purchase single cylinders of medical oxygen.
Mark Ling, MHRA Senior Criminal Enforcement Officer, said: “In May, our Criminal Enforcement Unit started an investigation into the unlawful supply of medical oxygen to a large number of dental practices across the UK. We also published a medical recall alert to raise awareness of the issue and offer advice to healthcare professionals.
“The MHRA will continue to work in collaboration with the BCGA to address the threat posed by the unlawful supply of medical oxygen to protect patient safety. Medical oxygen should only be procured from licensed manufacturers and wholesale dealers. Please report any defective or falsified medical devices via our Yellow Card Scheme website.”
BCGA Technical Manager, Jake Lake, said: “The MHRA has issued a recall notice for the falsified medicines and has also requested BCGA provide suitable guidance to help purchasers identify bona-fide, licensed suppliers. As a result, TSC7 has produced Leaflet 22, ‘Medical Gases. Selecting A Medical Gas Cylinder Supplier.’
“Medical gases are classified as medicines and can only be provided by bona fide companies, including those in BCGA membership, who have the appropriate licences, which are issued by the UK Regulator, the MHRA. Leaflet 22 provides details on the checks that should be carried out in selecting a medical gas cylinder to ensure it is legitimate, that it is for medical use and has been supplied by an authorised supplier. This is useful information for those who obtain single cylinders of medical gases, such as dentists, vets and First Aid Responders. Most hospitals and Trusts get their cylinders via contract arrangements with licensed gas suppliers and so this isn’t an area of direct concern.”
The UK membership body for the compressed gases sector, the BCGA, is committed to stringent quality, safety and environmental measures.
Its members operate in a highly regulated industry, with a focus on best practice in technical, safety, health and environmental issues.
BCGA technical subcommittee members volunteer their own expertise and insight to drive forward best practice not only in medical gases, but in other areas including Hydrogen and other gaseous fuels, chemistry and transport.
Overseen by the BCGA’s Technical Committee, the subcommittees play a key role in developing the Association’s highly regarded and free to access library of technical documents, including Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes.
These are used as a point of reference and referred to across the industry and in related sectors, both nationally and internationally.
Full details of the MHRA recall can be found at Class 3 Medicines Recall: Tricodent Limited (supplier), Medical Oxygen B.P (MEDIGAS OXYGEN B.P), EL (23)A/20 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The BCGA also has a dedicated Medical Gases area on its website, at https://bcga.co.uk/topics/medical-gases