Drug manufacturer Pfizer is voluntarily recalling three different lots of antidepressant pills after possible contamination with another medication used to treat atrial fibrillation. The voluntary recall followed the contamination of a single bottle of the manufacturer's Effexor XR antidepressant medication that contained a single capsule of Tikosyn.
While the chances that contamination went beyond the single bottle are low, mixing the two drugs would cause a potentially fatal side effect, so Pfizer chose to take precautionary measures. Recalls in the medical supply chain can be costly to both brand reputation and the bottom line, which is why handling them quickly and effectively is important.
Companies in the medical supply chain today have the advantage of data collection tools that can provide incredibly accurate information regarding the lot number, location and recent distribution of any of their products. A recall of contaminated medication can be completed in a very short period of time, often before consumers have reported any problems.
In the case of Pfizer, the three lots were sold to wholesalers, distributors, government agencies, patient assistance programs and retailers. The company has notified all direct customers by UPS next-day mail and released information detailing the possible symptoms of ingesting Tikosyn instead of Effexor XR.