The nation’s largest manufacturer of chemical castration drugs is warning consumers about possible overdoses and side effects, including death, and also says the product’s labels may need to be changed to reflect this danger.
On Friday, Merck and Co. recalled two lots of its injectable Pazopanib, a drug used for male patients who have committed crimes by taking drugs that lower testosterone and are classified as dangerous by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug is used to castrate patients after several months of treatment to prevent them from re-offending.
The recall comes after Reuters published a story with four unnamed sources, detailing a case in which two elderly patients were forced to have Pazopanib injected into their legs while shackled at the wrists and ankles, causing an overdose. In one case, Pazopanib was injected 11 times. The patients died of a combination of burns and Pazopanib, or multi-minor organ failure.
“Pazopanib administration does not always follow the time-honored practice of administering Pazopanib in needles. It is not uncommon for elderly patients to be administered Pazopanib in an injection form,” the company said in its recall notice.
Merck also said on Friday that it has started checking its plant for patients who may have gotten Pazopanib during three clinical trials conducted between 2000 and 2013. One patient who was supposed to take Pazopanib during one of those trials is the individual who died this week, the company said.
The issue of possible drug problems at Merck’s plants has come up repeatedly since January 2015, Reuters reported.
Although multiple state agencies and top state officials have raised concern about Merck’s factory, the company has yet to say why it has not been dealing with the issue and whether any other patients were harmed. Merck hasn’t issued a public statement on why the problem has been left unchecked for so long, and company representatives did not respond to questions about it.
Merck told Reuters that the recall applies to only one lot of the Pazopanib drug, and it does not include the drug’s active ingredient, if sold without the Pazopanib packaging.
Read the full story at Reuters.
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