J&J recalls contraceptives for subpotency

Just weeks after Pfizer birth control pills had to be recalled in Canada, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is having to do the same.

J&J's Janssen unit is recalling one lot of Ortho-Cept tablets because of the potential that the potency of the two active ingredients may not meet specifications, Health Canada reports. The regulator pointed out that the pills may not be effective and women risk unwanted pregnancy if they take them. The agency suggested women check to see if they have pills with the lot number 13DM732 on them or to call their pharmacy for help.

Earlier this month, Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada said that because of a supply chain issue at a distribution center, it had released some expired packages of Pfizer's ($PFE) Alesse 21 pills. The problem was the same, expired pills might not meet specifications and could result in unwanted pregnancies.

In fact, in 2013, Canadian generics maker Apotex was sued for $800 million by 45 women who claimed they got pregnant after a packaging problem led to there being packages with 14 active contraceptive pills and 14 placebos instead of the 21 active and 7 placebos that they should contain. The same kind of problem was discovered in 2012, leading Pfizer to recall 1 million packages of its Lo/Ovral-28 pills.

- here's the Health Canada alert