ONTD Political

Birth control pills recalled, may not prevent pregnancy

8:00 pm - 01/31/2012
This is more of an FYI post. The tl;dr: Placement of extra placebos means the pill you take might not be contraceptive. If you use Lo/Ovral-28 tablets, Norgestrel, or Ethinyl Estradiol tablets, be aware!

Pfizer Inc. (PFE), the world’s biggest drugmaker, recalled 1 million packs of birth-control pills after discovering a packaging error that may cause women to take the wrong dosages and put them at risk for unintended pregnancies.

The company recalled 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of a generic version of the medicine, New York-based Pfizer said today in an e-mail. About 1 million packs of 28 tablets were withdrawn, Grace Ann Arnold, a Pfizer spokeswoman, said in a separate e-mail.

The tablets, manufactured and packaged by Pfizer, were marketed by closely held Akrimax Rx Products of Cranford, New Jersey under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals brand. The company hasn’t received any reports of adverse health consequences, Arnold said.

Each pack contains 21 white tablets that contain the synthetic hormones norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol and are taken for 21 consecutive days. The remaining seven tablets are inactive pink pills taken for a week.

“An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient- tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence,” the company said. That could cause women to take an incorrect daily dosage and increase the risk of accidental pregnancy.

The error was “identified and corrected immediately,” and doesn’t pose immediate health risks, Pfizer said. “However, consumers exposed to affected packaging should begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately.”

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals won FDA approval of Lo/Ovral-28 in 1976. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI) is among companies that offer generic copies. Pfizer acquired Wyeth in 2009.

(no subject) - Anonymous
recorded 1st-Feb-2012 06:54 am (UTC)
According to the recall notice:

"may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets and that
the tablets may be out of sequence. "

From the picture, the difference seems to be light pink and dark pink which doesn't really seem like a significant difference. Also, I imagine the people it's going to fuck over are the busy and the people new (ie; young) to birth control.

Really glad I have an IUD right now.
(no subject) - Anonymous
recorded 1st-Feb-2012 08:37 am (UTC)
I just had a round of antibiotics, so I have been abstaining same as you :( Condoms? Noty, I prefer abstinence. lol
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
darsynia 1st-Feb-2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah usually they're not in a bottle though, they're in a circular thing with a 'poke the pill out' thing, one for every day--I totally wouldn't bother looking at the color of the pill there, if I'm honest about it. I will bet you that if any women do end up suing that they became pregnant while taking this, the company's lawyer will say that it's irresponsible not to look at the pill color, though :(
(no subject) - Anonymous
darsynia 1st-Feb-2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Agreed! I shouldn't have read the comments at Consumerist about this, though. Basically all blame the women (with a bonus 'now the liberals have more excuses to abort!!' nonsense), even though they've said it's not a case of mislabeling, there are incorrect numbers of active pills and whatnot.

I think it'll be complete bullshit if they claim that because even perfect use isn't 100%, it doesn't matter what they did. I almost guarantee that the % of women who turn up pregnant while on this during the period of time they were incorrect will be higher than even typical use % failure.
huit 1st-Feb-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
Aren't some birth controls in packaging with a dispensing unit so that you HAVE to take them in a certain order? (or maybe I'm thinking of something else that comes packaged like that, like asthma medication...)
eien_herrison 1st-Feb-2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
This isn't someone getting burned by hot coffee.

Can we (generally) please stop using that case as an example of a frivilous lawsuit? Third degree burns on 6% of the body (including genital regions) is nothing minor at all (nor are 200 other previous similar cases, or McD offering $800 when she asked for her medical expenses to be paid).
darsynia 1st-Feb-2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Just adding my voice to hope that you're not trying to claim that hot coffee lawsuit was frivolous. The woman involved had burns that were extremely fast, that fused her skin together in her crotch (trying to avoid overly illustrative imagery, because, well. OW). Think of how long it takes you to try to mitigate a spilled hot beverage on your lap, and how long the liquid had to burn her--definitely NOT frivolous. She even only sued for her medical bills, and was awarded a lot more when McD decided to be asses about it.

Both the hot coffee woman and the women who are now pregnant thanks to this company's negligence have long-lasting, perhaps lifelong changes as a result.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
angelus7988 1st-Feb-2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
This isn't someone getting burned by hot coffee.

The lawsuit to which you are referring to was not about hot coffee, it was about scalding hot coffee that caused third degree burns which fused Stella Liebeck's labia shut. I've spilled hot coffee on myself, so I can attest to the fact that hot coffee does not nor should it do that. I'm sorry, but I really hate it when people cite that as a "frivolous" lawsuit.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
breexbree 1st-Feb-2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
But by issuing a recall, aren't they indirectly claiming responsibility?
darsynia 1st-Feb-2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
I'd hope so!

What I'm curious about is how long the company spent assessing the risks of speaking up before they did. If it was over a month, could that be considered extra negligence? Imagining a woman who has been on that medication for 3 months, living in Ohio, who is now ineligible for an abortion because of their heartbeat law, for example.
sesmo 2nd-Feb-2012 01:23 am (UTC)
Courts have held that recalls cannot be held against the company as an admission of guilt. This is a really good thing, otherwise companies would be fighting recalls tooth & nail, instead of publicizing them early.
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