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February 1st, 2012
05:31 PM ET

Birth control ‘packaging error’ leads to recall

Pfizer is recalling 1 million packets of birth control pills because there’s a problem with the order of pills in the packaging. It’s an error that could lead to unintended pregnancies.

The company says there’s a mix-up with its Lo/Ovral-28 brand tablets, and generic-brand Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets marketed under the Akrimax Rx Products name.

When using those pills, women take the active-ingredient white pills for 21 days followed by the pink placebo pills for 7 days. But according to Pfizer, some of the pink pills are appearing at the wrong time of month, when women are fertile.

Pfizer has issued a complete list of the recalled pill’s lot numbers on their company website.

Women who are taking one of the recalled pills – all of which expire between July 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014 - should return them to the pharmacy, consult their health care providers and begin a non-hormonal barrier contraceptive.

"Upon discovery of the issue, we took corrective action and notified the FDA. Based on our own rigorous internal assessments of this problem, we believe there are approximately 30 packs of birth control pills that may have received an inexact count or inactive tablet. Because of our high quality standards, should we identify even one package that does not meet our high standards, we will voluntarily recall the entire lot," Pfizer said in a written statement.

“Therefore, we have voluntarily recalled the 28 lots – which is approximately 1 million packs – to ensure that any possibly impacted product is removed from pharmacy shelves – and women who use the product are alerted. "


soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Bill Stanley

    Does anyone know where the pills were packaged? http://www.newsandopinions.net

    February 2, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Hooner

    The pills are different colors and women couldn't figure this out??

    February 2, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RP

      Drug companies are obligated to package their medications properly. If they screw up they have to recall it. It doesn't matter whether or not someone didn't check the color of the pill before taking it.

      February 3, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • Dhevina

      the band their 15 minutes. The qioutsen remains, are they now on the same viral treadmill as OK Go where their future success is tied as much to the quality of their videos as it is to their

      August 1, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  3. Talia

    When I called Express Scripts Pharmacy for a refund or exchange, they said I had to call the manufacturer. When I called to ask the manufacturer for a refund, they said I had to call my pharmacy. Nice customer service guys!

    February 2, 2012 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RP

      If you paid with a credit card you may be able to do a charge back.

      February 3, 2012 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
  4. Ali Young

    The fact that Pfizer made an error in the packaging of birth control pills is very serious. Many people including myself take contraceptives and we rely on medical distributors to do their job effectively. The video makes a good point that you would never know if this mistake led to a pregnancy because it could've been a missed pill altogether rather than the company being at fault. Hopefully, they pay better attention next time and place the sugar pills where they belong.

    syoung17@mix.wvu.edu
    ayoungnewsgirl.wordpress.com

    February 2, 2012 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. DS

    I had the same problem with Express Scripts and Pfizer. When I pulled my unused pill packs out of their packaging, I discovered that some of the recalled blister packs were open. Express Scripts refused to take back the pills and told me to call Pfizer. Pfizer returned one call and promised to take care of it. I've heard nothing else.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jane

    Well, Have you heard SeniorsSingleDating.com? It's the best and most effective senior dating site for senior singles over 50! Many of our members are well-educated, successful, and fresh in mind. I think you will like it.

    February 6, 2012 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Specialty Fulfillment

    We have a conveniently located 50,000 square foot warehouse in Virginia for your logistics needs that include picking and packing, fulfillment, warehousing, secure warehousing, specialty warehousing and specialty fulfillment at http://www.ezfulfill.com

    February 8, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jane Loughton

    Hello. I'm trying to spread the word about the Pfizer Inc recall of over a million packs of birth control. Many woman have gotten pregnant. There is a class action suite for the recall. If you or a loved one has been affected by this you may be eligible for compensation. Please spread the word. Go to the Pfizer Recall Lawyers website at: http://www.pfizerrecalllawyer.com/

    February 22, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Kit Davis

    Does this also affect off brand pills or only Pfizer tablets? I get my bc from nonprofitbirthcontrol dot org

    July 11, 2012 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Eagle

    Be careful with diet pills I've had some bad epierxences trying some of them. What I did find to work really well though was a natural supplement of Acai berry which I actually saw on Oprah and Rachel Ray. It was a while ago, but I ordered a free sample from and it's been great for helping increase my energy, metabolism, and keeping my body healthy! I've lost weight and I feel much, much better than I did when I was on the pills.

    August 2, 2012 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.