Scotland Yard probes Big Pharma meds in Reckitt's boxes

Scotland Yard is investigating whether boxes of Reckitt Benckiser's painkiller Nurofen were sabotaged. The company on Friday recalled three lots of Nurofen Plus, after London patients found cut-down blister strips of the AstraZeneca ($AZN) antipsychotic drug Seroquel in their boxes (and two patients reportedly took the Seroquel by mistake). The recall was broadened after Pfizer's ($PFE) epilepsy and pain drug Neurontin turned up in another box in Northern Ireland.

Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime Directorate has launched an investigation, the Herald Scotland reports. The inquiry will look at Reckitt's entire supply-and-production chain to determine how the Nurofen Plus boxes ended up with Big Pharma prescription drugs--manufactured and packaged in entirely different facilities--inside them. In the meantime, Reckitt is taking back all of the Nurofen packages on the market.

"Sabotage is suspected," a spokesman for Reckitt told the Herald, "and we are working with the police on a formal investigation to find the person or persons responsible." In the meantime, the company is completely halting distribution of the drug.

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