Health Canada issued an urgent recall of the birth control pill Alysena-28 on Monday because packages of the contraceptives could contain up to two weeks of placebo sugar pills instead of one, which could result in unplanned pregnancies for those who take the pills.
The recall, which is currently classified as type 1, the most crucial recall status, states that birth control packs may contain 14 instead of seven placebo pills instead of the required 21 active pills in each prescription.
The faulty packs of the drug were distributed to wholesalers/distributors and retailers in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
The bad batches were reportedly distributed to patients from Dec. 2012 up until last week. The code on the recalled packages is LF01899A.
According to CBC News, all patients currently taking the medication haven’t been notified of the recall, but some retailers, including London Drugs, have been working on notifying all patients and offering free pregnancy tests to affected customers.
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“I looked at it and said, ‘there could be unwanted pregnancies out there. We felt it was important to let the patient know so there can be a judgment call from the patient,” said London Drug Vice President John Tse.
Halifax University student Emily Costello, who takes the pills, said she became physically ill upon hearing about the recall and was confused about why customers were not contacted immediately.
“I felt like I was going to throw up to be quite honest -- just that deep pit in your stomach when you just know that something could go horribly wrong very quickly,” said Costello.
LIST OF PROVINCES WHERE RETAILERS SOLD ALYSENA-28 PILLS:
British Columbia (BC)
News Brunswick (NB)
Nova Scotia (NS)
Prince Edward Island (PE)