GlaxoSmithKline halts Excedrin production over manufacturing stumble

GlaxoSmithKline Excedrin headache cause custom boxes
GlaxoSmithKline says it found problems with the way its plant was weighing ingredients for its Excedrin Extra Strength caplets and geltabs and Excedrin Migraine caplets and geltabs but believes there is no danger to consumers. (GlaxoSmithKline)

GlaxoSmithKline, in the midst of sorting out its massive consumer health venture with Pfizer, has run into issues with one of its best-selling consumer brands. It has voluntarily halted production and distribution of Excedrin after manufacturing issues put the quality of some of the pain meds into question. 

The drugmaker says it put a hold on Excedrin manufacturing after routine testing found “inconsistencies” in how the plant transfers and weighs ingredients used in Excedrin Extra Strength caplets and geltabs and Excedrin Migraine caplets and geltabs.

"This is a short term issue for which we expect production to begin again shortly,” Kathleen Quinn, GSK’s head of U.S. corporate communications, said in an email. 

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The drugmaker says it believes the problems pose no dangers to consumers but stopped production and delivery “as a precautionary measure.”

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ABC News in Syracuse, New York, reports some pharmacies are already running out of some Excedrin, but aGSK pointed out that there are other Excedrin products and other pain-relief drugs on the market and suggested consumers consult their pharmacists about the best alternative.

The manufacturing issue comes as GSK is in the midst of integrating its consumer health operations with those of Pfizer. Both had toyed with divesting their own consumer health businesses but, in December 2018, struck a deal to combine them in a joint venture that the two intend to spin off, although the timing of that appears in dispute.