Musty odors prompt Lipitor recall expansion

Shot of a box of Lipitor pills.

Pfizer has expanded the Lipitor recall due to reports of a “musty odor.” (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Panthro/Wikipedia)

ABC News reports that Pfizer, the drug manufacturer that makes the cholesterol-lowering pill Lipitor, has expanded the recent Lipitor recall. An unspecified lot of 19,000 bottles of 40 mg Lipitor pills has been recalled due to reports of a “musty odor.” This Lipitor recall expansion brings the total number of Lipitor bottles pulled from the shelves to 360,000.

Latest Lipitor recall linked to wood preservative

As if consumers needed another reason to feel less than confident about the pills they’re popping, the latest chapter in the Lipitor recall may point toward wood preservative. Experts state that the chemical in Lipitor called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA), which was a culprit in the original Lipitor recall earlier this year, has something to do with the musty odor. While the FDA claims that TBA in low amounts has only the “minimal” negative health effect of causing gastrointestinal distress, it has been revealed that there are links between TBA and another chemical called TBP, which is used to preserve the wood in shipping pallets. However, Pfizer insists that it prohibits its shippers from using TBP-treated pallets, and that U.S. pallet makers are legally forbidden from using the preservative.

Old Lipitor recall may not be in hand yet

The original Lipitor recall conducted by Pfizer began in August, and it was related to bottles provided by a specific supplier. However, Pfizer has admitted that some of the bad Lipitor bottles issued prior to the recall “may still be on the market,” which could make it necessary for the company to conduct even more recalls.

In potentially related news, Pfizer’s CEO stepped down earlier this month. In addition to the ongoing Lipitor recall, a massive Tylenol recall – which was also connected to disturbing odors – has the management group at Pfizer parent company Johnson & Johnson embroiled in an organizational shakeup.

Sources:

ABC News

Financial News Online coverage of Lipitor recall

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