Excedrin, Gas-X and other Novartis drugs recalled

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis headquarter building in Basel. The company has recalled a number of its over-the-counter medications.

Jeremy Hobson: Now to the Swiss drugmaker Novartis, which has just issued a recall of certain bottles of some very common over-the-counter drugs: Excedrin, Bufferin, NoDoz, and Gas-X. Consumers are being asked to stop using the recalled drugs and contact the company for a refund.

Marketplace's John Dimsdale tells us why.

John Dimsdale: Novartis says the bottles may include broken or chipped tablets from other products, which means customers could take an incorrect drug or receive a higher or lower dose than intended. A factory in Nebraska has been shut down for repairs. Bottles of Excedrin and No-Doz with expiration dates on or before December 2014 and Bufferin and Gas-X bottles that expire on or before December 2013 are being recalled.

University of Southern California pharmaceutical professor Joel Hay says Novartis is doing the right thing by voluntarily withdrawing the drugs.

Joel Hay: Occasionally accidents happen. But the worst way to compound that would be to try and hide or obfuscate what actually happened.

Hay thinks Novartis can avoid losing customers over the long-term by being honest and upfront. But the Swiss drugmaker says the recalls and factory repairs will cost $120 million.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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