Hospira manufacturing mess-up leads to PharMEDium recalls

Hospira recalled 661,000 bags of sodium chloride at the first of the year after a customer discovered a human hair in the additive port area of a bag. That recall has now bled into products of a Hospira client that used some of the solution to compound a bunch of drugs for its customers.

Sterile compounder PharMEDium is in the process of recalling three products that were made using the compromised Hospira 0.9% sodium chloride solution. It is retrieving 514 bags of phenylephrine made at its center in Sugar Land, TX, as well as 100 bags of morphine sulfate and 20 bags of bupivacaine that it produced at its center in Memphis.

The timing for PharMEDium was unfortunate, coming just ahead of an announcement that it was being bought out by drug distributor AmerisourceBergen ($ABC). The Valley Forge-based AmerisourceBergen said on Tuesday that it would pay $5.6 billion for PharMEDium to gain entry into the growing drug compounding field.

The number of units that PharMEDium has recalled was small, but the implications of Hospira's recalls are not so. The drugmaker, which was acquired last month by Pfizer ($PFE) in a $15 billion deal, has had repeated recalls of saline solution, each time complicating a nationwide shortage of a product that hospitals routinely need. In July, it recalled another 314,600 bags of 0.9% sodium chloride because of possible leaks in bags.

- access the PharMEDium recalls here