For the second time in recent months, a drugmaker is having to recall tens of thousands of breathing medications because of potential problems with inhalers. This time, it is GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), which is retrieving two lots of its Ventolin HFA inhalers.
According to the most recent FDA Enforcement report, GSK is recalling 128,704 asthma inhalers because some canisters may not contain sufficient propellant to deliver the 200 doses that its label said it can provide through the end of its shelf life.
In July, Boehringer Ingelheim recalled 358,647 Combivent Respimat inhalers, used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in the U.S. In that case, the company said the delivery system was defective and may provide insufficient spray, or none at all. That came a week after AstraZeneca ($AZN) recalled a lot of its Bricanyl Turbuhalers for treating asthmas after discovering they may contain no powder.
The GSK Ventolin inhalers were produced at its plant in Zebulon, NC. That is the facility that GlaxoSmithKline had to close for about a week last summer to clean cooling towers for the facility after testing turned up the bacteria for Legionnaires' disease. The plant was idled briefly since cooling was essential to production, but GSK assured the public that products were unaffected by the discovery.
- here's the recall notice