Smokers often turn to over-the-counter nicotine lozenges to cut their urges when they are trying to quit smoking. It turns out that products made by Perrigo ($PRGO) and sold through a whole host of retailers like Wal-Mart and CVS might not work that well.
The company is recalling 366,936 tubes of 27-count products after they failed specifications in a "higher 30-minute dissolution test" and because of broken lozenges. According to a notice in an FDA Enforcement Report the products were sold in 7 states by Foodhold, CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart Stores, The Kroger Co., Rite Aid, TopCare, Walgreens and Target. The products were distributed to Ohio, Rhode Island, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Illinois and Arkansas.
The wide distribution is no surprise given that Perrigo bills itself as the world's largest manufacturer of OTC pharmaceutical products for the store brand market. And recent reports suggest it could get larger in that arena in Europe. Its name has come up as one one of the potential bidders, along with Bayer and Sanofi ($SNY) and others, for Belgium's Omega Pharma, a company said to be valued at about $5.3 billion.
Perrigo last year bought Ireland-based Elan ($ELN) for $8.6 billion. In addition to getting Elan's royalty stream for MS drug Tysabri, it bought itself a lower Irish tax rate. It also said it would use Elan's infrastructure in Europe to expand its own business there, even as it continues moving more branded prescription drugs onto the over-the-counter market.
- here's the recall notice