Update: Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ltd., have had to stop producing the generic form of Lipitor that was contaminated. Why? Because they can’t explain how the glass got in it! If their manufacturing process is that poor, I’d hope their drug sales finally do get stopped in the US (and really, everywhere).
A generic version of the cholesterol drug Lipitor was recalled this week—the recalled batches were contaminated with tiny glass particles.
The contaminated batches come from India’s biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ltd. Although the FDA is charged with regulating drugs that are imported, the scope of their job (which also includes imported food), means that 100% complete oversight will never be possible.
In this case, the manufacturer recalled the contaminated batches of it’s own accord. Because it has had problems with defective drugs in the past, and because the FDA can’t inspect every batch, Ranbaxy has always verged on a complete US ban on their goods, so the recall was a move on their part to protect their US market share (the product was not recalled in any other country).
If you have a steady prescription of any drug, make sure that you are buying from a pharmacy that will call you about recalls. If you’re on multiple prescriptions, keep track of drug interactions, warnings, and any precautions (for example, if you take a drug that requires regular monitoring of an organ like the heart or kidneys). Although doctors and pharmacists are technically responsible for ensuring you understand the warnings and that no drugs prescribed will interact, it’s safer to be proactive and catch mistakes early.
How do you keep track of your prescriptions?