Pfizer Recalls 200k Bottles of Lipitor for a Smell
Pfizer on Thursday said that it recalled almost 200,000 bottles of the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor in August because of a smell.
In a statement to CNN, Rick Chambers, a Pfizer spokesman, said the "uncharacteristic odor" involved bottles from another company. He said a total of seven batches of Lipitor totaling 191,000 bottles were recalled in the United States and Canada.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted a recall notice Thursday.
"Pfizer has been working closely with the bottle supplier to determine the cause of the odor problem and to rapidly address it," Chambers said. "We don't anticipate a product shortage resulting from the recall."
He said the company received three complaints in July about the odor. Pfizer has determined there is no risk of medical problems to Lipitor users because of the smell.
The news is a small setback for the U.S. pharmaceutical giant, who in June received credit from U.S. medical investigators for the development of a drug that has shown promising results in reducing lung cancer tumors during clinical trials.
Researchers at the University of California-San Diego's Moores Cancer Center said the drug, crizotinib, may be of benefit to patients with a specific kind of lung cancer.
"The results of the first two trials have been very encouraging," said Dr. Lyudmila Bazhenova, an assistant clinical professor who led the study. "The Phase III clinical trials will be critical in determining if this drug goes to market."
According to a preliminary study presented in Chicago this month during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Phase I and II clinical trials demonstrated 57 percent of patients saw their tumors reduced and, at eight weeks of the treatment, 87 percent showed disease stabilization.