Pfizer pulls mixed-up contraceptive pills

Pill mix-ups and potency questions have prompted dozens of recalls in recent months. This time, the potential for both has Pfizer ($PFE) pulling 1 million packages of contraceptive pills. The balance of active tablets to inert tablets in each package could be off, and with birth control, that's a major problem: Without the right number of active tablets, women risk unwanted pregnancy.

The recall affects 14 batches of Lo/Ovral-28 pills and 14 batches of their generic counterparts, norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets. The pills were made and packed by Pfizer, Bloomberg says, but marketed by Akrimax Rx Products under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals brand. Some packets were found with too many active tablets, while others had too few.

"An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence," the company said.

The pills don't present a health threat, per se, but Pfizer advised women to start using a non-hormonal form of birth control posthaste. "As a result of this packaging error, the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception," the company said in a statement.

- read the Pfizer statement
- get more from Bloomberg
- check out the Daily Mail story