Merck recalls 276,000 bottles of cancer med that could pose risk to children

A packaging problem has led Merck ($MRK) to recall 276,000 bottles of a cancer med because the child-proof feature can fail, allowing children to get their hands on the chemo drug.

The recall, announced Tuesday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said bottles of Merck's Temodar and generic temozolomide capsules have caps that can crack, disabling the child-proof closure. There is a risk of poisoning if children take the drug. The agency pinpointed 5-count and 14-count brown glass bottles that have white plastic child-resistant caps. Merck makes the generic for Sandoz, the Associated Press said.

While the company is recalling 276,000 bottles sold between July 2013 and August 2015, a spokesperson told the AP that the company believes only about 1,100 bottles of those were affected by the manufacturing problem. Consumers were told to contact Merck for a replacement cap if they have one of the bottles and to always keep meds out of the reach of children.

Concerns by regulators over dangers of meds to children have led to recalls and even criminal cases against drugmakers in recent years. GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) last year voluntarily recalled four lots of its Panadol Advance product in Puerto Rico because the bottles were minus the child-resistant packaging to protect against overdoses. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) two years ago ran into issues in South Korea after authorities learned that its Janssen unit continued to sell Children's Tylenol that may have contained more than the labeled amounts of acetaminophen after a filling issue at the plant. An official at the plant was caught up in criminal proceedings over the lapse.

- here's the recall
- more from the Associated Press

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