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FDA Discourages the Use of Hospira Pumps, owing to Cyber Security Risks

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Published on : Aug 03, 2015

According to the federal government, healthcare centers and hospitals should discontinue using the Symbiq medication infusion pump of Hospira because as per findings, it is vulnerable to hacking. On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration made it clear by giving the very first warning about this product. 

There is a certain cyber security risk associated with this product which the FDA is very concerned about. Such a development came a time when there have been greater concerns pertaining to product breaches that took place over the internet in the recent past. Fiat Chrysler almost a week back ended up recalling almost 1.4 million cars/vehicles since there was a problem that was spotted and this as a result would make them quite vulnerable to several hackers all across the globe. 

The FDA has also stated that access to computerized pumps should only be given remotely via the hospital network. However, the FDA has no idea about the place where such incidents have taken place. Over the past couple of months, the homeland security department and numerous cyber security experts gave a warning about the device being prone to hacking and the possibility of it being controlled remotely. If this device by any chance gets remotely controlled there can be chances wherein the hacker can alter the quantity of medication that will be received by a patient. 

It was in 2013 itself that Hospira stopped manufacturing these Symbiq pumps and it also anticipated that these would soon get replaced within a couple of years. Illinois based company, the Lake Forest declined to reveal the total number of such products that are still being used. The FDA also declared that there are still quite a few third parties selling Symbiq pumps.