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£550,000 fines for faulty syringes..

Two firms have been fined a total of £550,000 after a diabetic hospital patient died after he was injected with insulin syringes containing no insulin.

Neil Judge, 58, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, who was being treated at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital in 2010, suffered organ failure when he was injected with saline.

The faulty syringes were supplied by wholesalers, Fresenius Kabi Ltd, for manufacturers, Calea UK Ltd, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Mr Judge's multi-organ failure was started by diabetic ketoacidosis after his body was deprived of insulin for more than 13 hours.

Sheffield coroner Chris Dorries ruled last year that ketoacidosis from the manufacturing error was a "major contributory factor" in Mr Judge's death.

Fresenius Kabi, of Eastgate Way, Manor Park, Runcorn, was fined £500,000 with costs after pleading pleading guilty to breaches of the Medicines Act 1968. Calea UK, of the same address, was fined £50,000 with costs after pleading guilty to similar breaches, the agency said.

Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA head of enforcement, said the two companies were "equally responsible for the medicinal failure" that contributed to Mr Judge's death.