The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Jan. 13
5. No Pain, No Gain for Novartis
Sorry Novartis(NVS) , we don't mind a bit of potluck at a dinner party, but we'll pass when it comes to our pain medications.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers about a potential mix-up between powerful prescription painkillers known as opioids and common over-the-counter drugs made at a Novartis manufacturing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. Novartis issued a recall of the company's over-the-counter drugs on Sunday and Endo Pharmaceuticals(ENDP) , which sells the opioid drugs made at the Novartis facility, has said it is unaware of any injuries resulting from the mix-up.
Then again, maybe the folks mistakenly popping Percocet instead of Gas-X were just too loopy to report the problem.
As for why the company is not recalling the potent pain pills along with the upset-tummy tablets, FDA officials say they are essential medications for many patients and "the likelihood of finding a wrong tablet in an opiate pain medication dispensed to patients is low."
And who knows? Gas-X may in fact be the mother of all placebos, so it's a win-win for everybody.
Nevertheless, regulators are concerned about a potential shortage of Endo's painkillers due to the shutdown of the Nebraska facility and are dealing with it. That said, they should have dealt with quality control at this particular manufacturing facility a long time ago. FDA inspectors cited it for a dozen infractions last summer, according to the agency's website, and pill mix-ups have reportedly been the norm there since 2009.