Pharmacists left in the dark over birth control recall

HALIFAX — Several Halifax pharmacists say they were left in the dark about a recall over birth control pills.

On Monday, Health Canada issued a recall of Alysena 28, made by Apotex.

In some packages, the last two rows, rather than just the last row, of the birth control pills are placebo pills.

Pharmacist Leigh Noftle of Moffatt’s Pharmasave says that puts some women at risk of pregnancy.

Noftle says drug companies normally contact pharmacies directly when recall notices are put out. Apotex first issued a recall last Wednesday. But as of Tuesday, six days later, she had yet to receive any word from them.

The same goes for pharmacist Darren Dileo of Scotia Pharmacy, who echoed similar comments.

“We haven’t received anything from Apotex. We didn’t receive a fax from them yet,” he said.

Dileo spent part of Tuesday morning calling patients who may be affected. He notes that it’s upsetting he wasn’t directly informed by Apotex.

“I would have liked to have heard previous to now,” said Dileo, who first found out about the recall through the media. “I think we’re all aware of it at this point but it would be nice to get a fax from them informing us.”

“I would have thought that they should have. I don’t know what the delay was caused by,” said Noftle.

Meanwhile young women, like Brittany Ginter, taking Alysena agree more could have been done by the company to warn them.

“It is a bit of a delay and maybe they could have told people earlier,” Ginter said as she packed a van outside an apartment building on Quinpool Street.

“I was a little concerned. I guess I’ll be getting it changed and talking to my pharmacist.”

There is no word yet on how the extra placebo pills came to be included in some Alysena packages. Global News contacted Apotex for a comment but our calls were not returned.

The affected birth control pills have a lot number of LF01899A.

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