It hasn’t even been a week since we last told you that one of the most common blood pressure drugs in the world (Valsartan) was recalled for containing carcinogens, but we’re back with more bad news. This time, it’s Westminster Pharmaceuticals playing games with your health and lives. WP’s Levothyroxine and Liothyronine combination tablets have been recalled because the Chinese manufacturer failed to “establish standards of quality and purity.”
We know Chinese knock-offs and quality issues are a thing, but in pharmaceutical drugs? Westminster Pharmaceuticals should be ashamed of themselves for failing to ensure that the drugs they create for American citizens are safe.
• Given all the safety issues with products coming from China in previous years (including children’s toys full of cadmium and lead), one has to question why a drug manufacturer would even choose a Chinese factory. The fact that they clearly chose a manufacturer without safety protocols is even more unconscionable.
• It gets worse: it seems the manufacturer only announced the recall after the FDA intervened and sent a letter. It stated that the lax quality protocols “could represent the possibility of risk being introduced into the manufacturing process,” though it wasn’t immediately clear which risk would be introduced.
• The FDA letter reads, “Because your methods, facilities, or controls for manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding do not conform to CGMP, your API are adulterated within the meaning of section 501(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B).”
• “Adulterated” is a very scary-sounding word with an even scarier meaning. It essentially means that the drugs within the tablets may or may not contain other inert or harmful ingredients. This could mean it contains carcinogens, harmful drug analogues, or doses outside of the normal required range.
• What makes this especially concerning with regard to thyroid drugs is that patients often respond or suffer from side effects with microscopic dose changes. Even a shift by a tiny amount could cause a deadly thyroid storm, bringing on seizures or strokes.
• To help you identify whether your pills are affected, we will enclose a shortlist of the batches and lot numbers at the end of this article. You can find the full list here, on the FDA’s website. Westminster has directed patients taking the drug to telephone 888-354-9939 for guidance. In the meantime, do not stop taking your medication or make changes to the dose – see your doctor for advice or replacement options.
69367-159-04 Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (Thyroid Tablets, USP) 15mg X 100ct
69367-155-04 Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (Thyroid Tablets, USP) 30mg X 100ct
69367-156-04 Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (Thyroid Tablets, USP) 60mg X 100ct
69367-157-04 Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (Thyroid Tablets, USP) 90mg X 100ct
69367-158-04 Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (Thyroid Tablets, USP) 120mg X 100ct
Stay safe out there, folks! If your medication was affected, or if you have been affected by any of the recent recalls, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think pharmaceutical companies should be more responsible with their manufacturing standards? Should they be criminally charged if patients are harmed due to poor standards at the hand of foreign producers?