Novartis plant snafu sends desperate Excedrin users to eBay

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) isn't the only drugmaker struggling to get recalled over-the-counter products back on store shelves. Novartis ($NVS) hasn't yet restocked brands pulled back in January, and consumers are fretting, particularly those who suffer from migraines.

Some patients swear by the Novartis pain reliever Excedrin Migraine, and it's simply not available these days. As ABC News reports, some have even turned to eBay for relief, paying more than $1 per tablet. "I went into panic mode after I found out about the recall," migraine patient Susan Scranton, who bought $500 worth on eBay, told ABC.

Novartis Consumer Health pulled Excedrin, along with No-Doz, Gas-X and Bufferin, after broken and mixed-up pills were found in packages. The drugs were among those made at a troubled plant in Lincoln, NE. Since then, the company has been working on fixes at the plant, but production hasn't gone back to normal. Besides Excedrin, products, including Maalox and pet drugs, are still running short.

The recalls have been giving investors headaches too, as Morningstar analyst Damien Conover recently told WNYC News, "It's not giant, but it's meaningful. It's weighing on the company stock." Unfortunately for users of the consumer meds, Conover expects inventory to be lower than normal till next year.

- read the ABC News story

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