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Novartis recalls millions of sample drugs over contamination worries originally published on WallStreetJournal and Medscape |
More than 5 million free samples to physicians of antihypertensives, statins and other Novartis drugs may have chemical contamination from packaging. Recall of Exforge (amiodipine and valsartan); Exforge HCT (with hydrochlorothiazide); Diovan (valsartan), Tektuma (aliskiren), Tektuma HCT: Lescol XL (fluvastatin), Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa, and entacapone) for Parkinson's - a total of 127 drug lots.
The news comes a day after theJournal of the American Medical Association reported that some patients aged 60 and over may not need blood-pressure medication as higher readings may be normal for people in that age group. But those findings didn’t hurt Swiss-based Novartis, which makes the blood-pressure drugs Exforge, Diovan and Tekturna, as the company’s shares were up more than 1% to $78.57.
Further, late news of the recall — which included those blood-pressure treatments as well as Lescol cholesterol tablets and Parkinson’s disease medication Stalevo — that came after the close didn’t seem to impact the drug-making giant’s shares much in post-session trades. Shares were down marginally to $78.35, not enough to wipe regular session gains.
Most of the recall centered around Exforge, which accounted for 4.7 million of the 5.3 million bottles recalled. Ink on the sleeves of the bottles apparently had contaminated some of the medicines, though the company said it didn’t pose a safety risk to patients.