Birth Control Pills Recalled In Canada

Birth control pills are being recalled in Canada over concerns that a batch contained two weeks of placebo sugar pills.

The pills were manufactured by Apotex for its Alysena-28 line. About 50,000 packages may have made it into the marketplace with the sugar pills instead of the birth control hormone.

A normal month’s supply of the medication contains one week of sugar pills and three weeks of birth control pills. The medicine is pink, while the placebo is white. London Drugs vice-president John Tse explained the recall by saying:

“I looked at it and said, ‘there could be unwanted pregnancies out there.’ We felt it was important to let the patient know so there can be a judgment call from the patient.”

Apotex, the largest generic drug manufacturer in Canada, initially listed the recall as voluntary. The company contacted wholesalers and retailers about the possible placebo batch, but has not directly contacted customers about the potentially faulty product.

Dennis Abud, who owns the Jean Coutu in Dieppe, explained that the problem packs should be easy to spot because of the pills’ colors. All of the pills Abud has in stock are okay, but he is still making a list of all the patients who received the prescription. He will then call them and make sure their lots are okay as well.

While Apotex did not issue a mandatory recall, Health Canada did so, calling the problem “urgent.” News of the birth control pill recall made several women nervous even if they were not potentially affected. The Canadian government elevated the recall case to a level 1 emergency because some women take the birth control pills for medical reasons.

The batch in question was distributed to almost every Canadian province between December 2012 and the first week of April 2013. The potentially altered packages have the code: LF01899A.

Does the birth control pill recall in Canada make you nervous about the integrity of the product?

[Image via ShutterStock]