There’s really little news that could top that of big pharma companies recalling meds from markets over concern that they might not work. It’s the case of Pfizer which announced that it has decided to recall 28 U.S. lots of birth control pills that might not work.
On Tuesday, Pfizer announced it is pulling off from the United States market 28 lots of birth control pills that might not contain enough contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. If 28 lots seem insignificant, then be informed that 28 lots stand for about 1 million packets of pills.
The company informed that the birth control pills don’t carry any health threats, but it asked all consumers affected by their recall to start “using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately”.
As the company stated the problem at hand involves 14 lots of Lo/Ovral carrying 28 tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets. Basically, the company got concerned after finding some blister packs of such oral contraceptives that might contain inexact count of inert or active ingredients.
“An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredients – tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence” said the company.
Hence, some packets of drugs contained too many active tablets, while others had too few. Such oral birth control pills use a series of 21 drug tablets and 7 inactive sugar tablets to regulate the menstrual period while securing contraception.
Pfizer stated on its website that the error occurred do to a packaging error. “As a result of this packaging error, the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy” read the company’s press release.
The pills that have been recalled were manufactured by Pfizer, but marketed by Akrimax Pharmaceuticals. They have already been shipped to clinics and retail pharmacies nationwide. The packets recalled carry expiration dates ranging between July 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014.
Pfizer is the world’s biggest drugmaker with fourth quarter earnings that beat the analysts’ estimates. In 2011’s fourth quarter, Pfizer had a net income that fell 50 percent compared to one year earlier, due to losing a patent exclusivity for the cholesterol pill Lipitor.