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UK hospitals may have bought stolen bone, watchdog warns

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Bone graft material, which may have come from stolen bodies and could be contaminated, was purchased by 25 hospitals from a US company, the UK drugs and products watchdog confirmed last week.

Bone graft material, which may have come from stolen bodies and could be contaminated, was purchased by 25 hospitals from a US company, the UK drugs and products watchdog confirmed last week.

The tissue, which is used as filler material in orthopaedic surgery, was brought from Biomedical Tissue Services that obtained bodies from mortuaries illegally and without consent.

The material was sent to the UK but recalled in 2005 after US authorities discovered the situation.

However up to 82 pieces of affected bone graft material may have been implanted into a small number of patients at 22 hospitals in England and three hospitals in Wales, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said last week.

Despite concerns that the tissue was not screened or sterilised properly before implantation the MHRA said there is only a 'negligible health risk' of infections or allergies being passed onto the recipients.

MHRA

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