Pfizer gets past shortage of hypothyroid drug Levoxyl

Pfizer last year complicated a shortage of its hypothyroid drug Levoxyl when it tried a new manufacturing process. But manufacturing problems have been ironed out, and the company expects to have the drug back in consumers' hands by next week.

In-PharmaTechnologist points out that a website used by Pfizer to keep track of the shortage says the drug should be available March 3.

Pfizer ($PFE) began recalling the drug last year after getting complaints of odors from the bottles tied to a new formulation, a move that threatened to lead to a shortage of the drug. So its King Pharmaceuticals subsidiary returned to making the older formulation. But that led it to recall 84 lots of that product because of potency issues. The company said only three batches tested outside of the quality specifications, but it decided to recall all of the batches because of the issue.

Before that, King recalled 52,000 bottles of Levoxyl because of a bad odor. The company tracked the problem to the oxygen-absorbing canisters in 100-count and 1,000-count bottles. It said the odor was unlikely to cause health issues, but it recalled them "out of an abundance of caution."

A Pfizer spokesperson told in-PharmaTechnologist that manufacturing issues have been resolved and the company expects the product to be back on pharmacy shelves next week.

- read the in-PharmaTechnologist story
here's the website