- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2023

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is “recalling” 4.2 million units of its migraine medication Nurtec because the single eight-count blister pack in each box is not adequately child-proofed.

Nurtec is a pill that dissolves in the mouth, and is used to treat acute migraines and to prevent episodic migraines. The dosage is safe for adults, but it can poison young children.

The recall, announced Thursday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, does not involve returning the product in question, nor does it mean that the medicine is tainted or otherwise unsafe, as opposed to Food and Drug Administration recalls.

Instead, “recall” is used less literally, and refers to any repair or notice as defined by the CPSC.

Pfizer said it has not received “reports of any adverse events associated with this issue.”

Pfizer places the utmost emphasis on patient safety and product quality at every step in the manufacturing and supply chain process and is working expeditiously to develop new packaging as a long-term solution,” a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement to the Washington Times.

In the interim, pharmacists will place the medicine in a childproof vial before handing it out to patients.

Consumers who did not receive their Nurtec in a childproof vial are urged to contact Pfizer for a free child-resistant pouch. Once the pouch is received and the pills placed securely inside, these consumers are encouraged to continue taking them.

The boxes in question were prescribed at pharmacies nationwide from December 2021 to the present. Each box has eight 75-milligram pills, with expiration dates through June 2026. The national drug code to look for is 72618-3000-2.

Pfizer had independently determined the product was not properly child-resistant after its acquisition of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, the original makers of Nurtec, in 2022. Biohaven is now a subsidiary of Pfizer.

At that time, Pfizer learned that the Nurtec packaging had been updated in 2021, but that Biohaven had not tested the new design for child safety as is mandated by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

The CPSC notice indicated that 4.2 million units were impacted by the recall. Pfizer points out that the figure refers to the amount of Nurtec prescribed since the 2021 blister pack redesign by Biohaven.

Pfizer estimates that 300,000 such units are still in circulation.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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