Perrigo's Polluted Pills
Welcome to the "Polluted Plant Club," Perrigo (Stock Quote: PRGO)! Or should we say, "Welcome back."?
Non-prescription drugmaker Perrigo was forced to yank its ibuprofen tablets from the market this week after regulators found metal shavings in some of the pills manufactured in its Allegan, Mich., plant. According to an FDA warning letter, the company failed to thoroughly investigate why some tablets were the wrong size and why they failed to inspect packaging equipment between batches.
Jeez, lately these dirty-plant drug recalls are getting to be more regular than bank failures. In the past year we've seen Johnson & Johnson, Genzyme, Javelin and Perrigo all get busted for quality-control problems. Will somebody grab a mop and start cleaning these joints before somebody really gets hurt?
What makes Perrigo's lapse all the more sorry is that it's not the first time the company has been flagged by the FDA for unclean facilities. In 2006, the company had to recall 11 million bottles of acetaminophen pills containing pieces of wire as long as 8 millimeters.
"Your firm continues to receive complaints regarding these issues, and despite past assurances that previous enhancements would control the problem, deviations continue," wrote Joann M. Givens, director of the FDA's Detroit District Office, in a letter.
Good point, Ms. Givens. Maybe they would listen more closely by taking the cotton from their ears and putting it in the medicine bottles where it belongs.
Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- Perrigo should be cleaning up from J&J's infant Tylenol recall. Instead they are cleaning house.