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6/4/2003

More Counterfeit Lipitor Discovered

Donna Young

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a second alert yesterday that it had discovered additional lots of counterfeit atorvastatin calcium, a cholesterol-lowering drug sold under Pfizer’s brand name Lipitor.

As part of its continuing investigation into counterfeit atorvastatin calcium, the agency said, it had identified three more lots in 90-table bottles bearing lot numbers 20842V, 16092V, and D270481.

FDA announced last week that Albers Medical Distributors Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., had voluntarily recalled three lots of 90-table bottles.

The agency is warning pharmacists, health care providers, and consumers to carefully inspect Lipitor packaging before using the product.

Consumers should return to their pharmacies 90-tablet bottles labeled as "Repackaged by: Med-Pro Inc. Lexington, NE 68850" and bearing any of the following lot numbers and expiration dates:

20722V, 10 mg, expiration 09-2004

04132V, 10 mg, expiration 01-2004

16942V, 10 mg, expiration 09-2004

20842V, 10 mg, expiration 09-2004

16092V, 10 mg, expiration 07-2004

D270481, 20 mg, expiration unavailable

FDA said it is working closely with Pfizer on the counterfeiting problem.

In a company statement, Pfizer said it "does not distribute Lipitor to Med-Pro and has no relationship with the company or with Albers Medical Distributors."

Pfizer said it initiated legal proceedings yesterday against Med-Pro and Albers "that seek to immediately stop the distribution of counterfeit Lipitor."