Johnson & Johnson (J&J) yesterday said that it will recall about 200,000 syringes of the anaemia drug Eprex in 17 countries because of inconsistent potency in dosages, the latest in a series of product recalls made by the company over the past two years.
After internal testing revealed two batches of the drug, which had expiration dates of January 2012 and were less potent than necessary, the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based health care major issued the voluntary recall.
The recalls are in 17 countries, including 13 European nations and Canada, but not the US. J&J sells Eprex under the brand name Procrit, in the US.
The recalls are being made in Albania, Australia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.
J&J estimates that most of the Eprex syringes have already been used and that there are less than 6,300 syringes remaining in the market. The drug maker also said that there were no reports of any adverse events.
Eprex, an injected or intravenously administered drug, helps to boost certain blood components and avoid blood transfusions in chronic kidney failure cases.
J&J has issued a series of product recalls across a wide range of products over the past two years due to manufacturing-quality problems that have cost the company around $900 million.
The drug maker had earlier issued recalls for over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol, contact lenses, joint-replacement parts, surgical wound draining products, insulin pump cartridges, Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews among others.