From drug alert to product recall in 2 days.

Engaging with 57,000 consumers.

At the time when a product needs to be recalled, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, time is of the essence. When Cubiquity Media client, Novo Nordisk discovered a problem with one of their products, they called Precision to help get that product out of circulation fast.


With over 25 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical sector. Precision are well aware of the importance of fast, accurate communication when a product has to be recalled. We understand the need to trigger a rapid response methodology that only a highly flexible and nimble approach can facilitate.

In this case of the Novo Nordisk recall. We received notification on the Thursday, with artwork being issued on the Friday. By the Monday a 57,000-piece direct mail pack comprising of:

  • Personalised letter 3 sides
  • A4 2pp patient notification sheet
  • Folded and enclosed into C5 window envelope

Was delivered in the hands of Royal Mail to be delivered first class to:

  • 43,060 named individual UK GPs
  • 9,626 UK GP surgeries
  • 4,269 UK diabetes HCPs

With such a short turn around, having the largest self-maintained and comprehensive database on healthcare professionals, in the UK helped us trigger a rapid response, quickly and accurately. Without access to data on the health care professionals that matter. The necessary speed of recall would not meet the legal requirements imposed by the DRMC a division of MHRA.

In almost all cases the decision to recall a product or batch is made following consultation between the DMRC and the licence holder. Although the MHRA has regulatory powers to require a recall. These are rarely used, provided that licence holders work openly and closely with the MHRA.

Where distribution is widespread and/or the risk is serious, then a MHRA Drug Alert provides a mechanism to achieve blanket coverage to as many healthcare professionals as possible.

Even when a MHRA Drug Alert is issued, the recall is still the responsibility of the licence holder. Action taken by the MHRA is secondary to and supportive of the action taken by the licence holder. In the event of a recall the licence holder should consider a strategy for returns and refunds; this should be devised in consultation with the Department of Health where applicable.

Understanding the various levels, a severity is an important part of Precisions product recall service offering. Precision have our own Wholesale Distribution Authorisation, issued by the MRHA, and are licenced to distribute healthcare products through our Healthcare division and are uniquely positioned to expertly crisis manage a pharmaceutical product recall.

In this case we put in motion our rapid response protocol. We assessed, in the moment capacity options to fulfil the pack in the time we had. The data teams immediately started shaping the data, planning the campaign and constructing the data set ready for production.

The production teams quickly moved to staggered shifts and weekend working to enable production to be fulfilled at short notice. The quality assurance procedures are put in place along with data security protocols.

This resulted in the whole campaign being produced and delivered over the course of 48 hours over one weekend.

In summary, at a time when speed, accuracy and flexibility is needed along with the ability to make available accurate data, Precision should be the first number to call.

With their history in managing time critical pharmaceutical communications, Precision were the natural choice to resolve this time critical campaign. We were delighted at the speed of their response, their work patten flexibility and efficiency

David Barker – Print Procurement Manager – Cubiquity Media.