Pfizer Recalled Lipitor Due to “Uncharacteristic Odor”

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Pfizer announced it had recalled 191,000 bottles of Lipitor, the world’s most popular cholesterol-lowering drug, because of a noticeable odor. The recalled pills were all bottled at a third-party facility, and sold to patients in the U.S. and Canada.

The drugs were recalled in August, but Pfizer spokesman Rick Chambers told CNN the company’s announcement was timed with a recall notice posted Oct. 6 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to CNN:

“Pfizer has been working closely with the bottle supplier to determine the cause of the odor problem and to rapidly address it. We don’t anticipate a product shortage resulting from the recall.”

“A medical risk assessment based on all the information we have has determined that the odor issue is not likely to cause adverse health consequences for patients,” Chambers continued.

How the smell got in the bottles has yet to be determined, but the FDA recall report attributes it to the presence of a chemical called 2, 4, 6-tribromoanisole, which may sound familiar to some: Johnson & Johnson recalled several batches of Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl in January following consumer complaints of a similar musty, mildew-like odor emanating from bottles. J&J says the smell was traced back to 2, 4, 6-tribromoanisole, a chemical that is applied to wooden pallets used to transport and store packaging materials. (More on Got Toys? Fisher-Price Just Recalled 10 Million; Check if Yours Are Safe)

J&J ran afoul of the FDA for responding to the complaints so late — reports of the funky smell dated back to 2008.

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