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Pfizer recalls contraceptive pills after packaging blunder

One million packages of Lo/Ovral-28, Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol voluntarily withdrawn in US after mix-up leads to risk of unwanted pregnancy

Pfizer has recalled over one million packages of its contraceptive pills after mistakes in product packaging led to the risk of unwanted pregnancies.

Lots of Lo/Ovral-28, Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol were withdrawn after Pfizer discovered some packs might contain an inexact count of inactive or active ingredient tablets and that the tablets could also be out of sequence.

As a result of the error, women taking the contraceptives could potentially be on the wrong regimen, leading to inadequate protection against pregnancy.

Pfizer said the recall was necessary despite its “rigorous internal assessments“ in identifying about 30 packs of birth control pills that may have received an inexact count or inactive tablet.

However, the company said “should we identify even one package that does not meet our high standards, we will voluntarily recall the entire lot”.

Women currently taking the affected products should consult their healthcare professional and begin using a non-hormonal barrier method of contraception “immediately” according to Pfizer.

The affected products have expiration dates between August 2013 and March 2014, and are commercialised by Akrimax Rx Products and labelled under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals.

Pfizer's website has further details of recalled batches.

Pfizer has also released a video with chief medical officer Freda Lewis-Hall discussing the recall.

2nd February 2012


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