Recall round-up

Pfizer withdraws 20,000 Xanax, plus Hong Kong OTC recall

By Fiona BARRY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hong Kong's Department of Health recalled six OTC medications
Hong Kong's Department of Health recalled six OTC medications

Related tags: Pfizer, Pharmacology

Pfizer has issued a recall of more than 20,000 bottles of Xanax after discovering the strength of the batch may be weaker than labelled.

The affected lot of Xanax (alprazolam), which is a benzodiazepine prescribed for anxiety, was distributed in the US by Pharmacia & Upjohn Co., a division of Pfizer. The tablets expire in February 2016. The US FDA said the recall was initiated by Pfizer because and gave the reason as “subpotent drug.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Department of Health has issued a recall of six drugs manufactured by Europharm Laboratories Co. Ltd. after a complaint tipped it off that “the names and quantities of excipients used in these products do not match with the registered particulars.​”

The affected pharmaceuticals, all over-the-counter treatments for diarrhoea are labelled:

Euro-Antinal Capsules 200mg (HK-41562),

Naswall Capsules 200mg (HK-54739),

Bovill Capsules 200mg (HK-54740),

Melitte Capsules 200mg (HK-54741),

Davicoff Capsules (HK-54742), and

Sinpress Capsules 200mg (HK-54743).

The Department of Health found the company had added hydroxypropyl cellulose into the formulation of the drugs without approval by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. This means the products are considered unregistered.

According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations, illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products is an offence and risks a maximum fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.

No adverse reports have been made in relation to the products.

Related topics: Regulatory & Safety, Regulations

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