Hospira reports more vial problems

Hospira ($HSP) is going through another vial problem. It is recalling three lots of drugs because of the potential for glass particles getting into them.

The Lake Forest, IL-based drugmaker said it is voluntarily tracking down one lot of metoclopramide injection and two lots of ondansetron injection. Both drugs can be used to treat nausea in cancer patients who are receiving chemo.

The recall came after Hospira confirmed a defect in which glass strands were found on vial walls. Of course, there is the chance they might dislodge and cause problems for patients. The lots being recalled were delivered to wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and pharmacies, between June and September 2013. So far, the company has not received any reports that patients have been affected.

The problem is not entirely new to Hospira, which earlier this year recalled three lots of propofol injectable emulsion after reports came to light that some vials had visible particles embedded in the glass. Last year, the sterile injectable specialist had to retrieve 19 lots of carboplatin, cytarabine, paclitaxel and methotrexate because of "visible particles embedded in the glass located at the neck of the vial.'' It tracked the problem to its supplier and said it was working to fix it. 

But recalls are a common refrain from the company, which continues to struggle to get its manufacturing up to par. A couple of weeks ago, it expanded a recall of bupivacaine injection because particles of stainless steel and iron oxide were found in some vials. And before that, it confirmed a human hair had been found in a vial of a parenteral nutritional product and so recalled one lot of it.

- here's the FDA MedWatch release
- see the company release