Apotex recalls some drugs; supply cuts staff

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Recall election Pharmaceutical drug Pharmacology

Apotex’s manufacturing difficulties have begun to impact on its operations, with the company recalling some products, New Zealand authorities issuing a temporary import ban and lay offs at a supplier.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an import alert against products manufactured at two Apotex facilities after the agency issued a warning letter and the knock on effects are now being felt.

Apotex has now voluntarily recalled a small number of lots of Apo-Amilzide (5-50 mg), Apo-Meloxicam (7.5 & 15 mg) and Apo-Ranitidine (75 & 150 mg) from the Canadian market. The company described the recall as “minor​”, adding that no patients have experienced problems from taking these medicines.

There has also been a wider recall of 40 products in the US and some drugs have been withdrawn from the Australian market. Furthermore, Medsafe, the New Zealand regulatory agency, has joined the US in issuing a temporary import ban.

Supplier cuts staff

Apotex Pharmachem, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), has laid off 15 per cent of employees at its facility in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, citing reduced demand from its biggest customer, Apotex, according to local paper The Expositor​.

The lay offs are also partly because of the economy but Apotex Pharmachem anticipates recalling the workers in three to four months. All areas of the company’s operations are affected by the action.

Apotex Pharmachem’s action will affect 64 of the 403 employees at the Brantford site. The cut backs represent a blip after 12 years of continuous growth at Apotex Pharmachem.

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