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Production Halted On Generic Lipitor Over Potential Glass Contamination

Filed November 30th, 2012 admin

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to stop producing the cholesterol-controlling drug Atorvastatin because it is unsure why some of the tablets were found to laced with small shards of glass.

Atorvastatin is a generic version of Lipitor. Millions of Americans take Lipitor and its generic versions to control their cholesterol, and it has become the fifth most popular medicine in the country, ABC New said.

“I think the quick message is that the company has real difficulties with quality control,” Dr. Edward Boyer of the University of Massachusetts Medical School told ABC News.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a release earlier this week stating that the company had halted production of the drug until it has thoroughly investigated the cause of the glass particulates and remedied the problem. The FDA does not expect any immediate drug shortage because two other companies make generic versions of Lipitor, ABC News said. Ranbaxy first issued recalls on November 9 due to glass contamination.

Some experts say, if ingested, the glass could cause minor irritation of the digestive system, ABC News said. The FDA has not received any adverse reports from Atorvastatin users as of Friday morning, but the agency remains concerned about the quality control of the factory, which is located in Punjab, India.

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