Hitchin, UK-based pharmaceutical group William Ransom & Son saw its share price cut in half last week as investors shrank back on news that it has agreed to recall a batch of products on concerns over possible contamination.

The group’s stock nose-dived 50% to £8.75 on Friday after it emerged that a routine inspection by the Medicines and healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of its plant in Witham, Essex, found “some evidence of deficiencies” in the control of microbial contamination of the purified water supply used in the production of certain products.

Consequently, the MHRA advised that the group should voluntarily recall those products made using purified water, including the muscular pain relief gel Radian, the antibacterial cream Valderma and the cough medicine Pavacol.

No adverse events
William Ransom insists that its existing quality management process has ensured that “all product sold is within its specification”, and also points out there have been no reports of any adverse events from contamination in the last 12 months.

However, the company says it has accepted “that there were shortcomings in its documentation of the review and decision-making process concerning microbial contamination” which, it says, have since been sorted out.