Birth control recall: Government took too long

OTTAWA – New Democrats say the Conservative government took too long to issue an urgent recall for Alysena-28 birth control pills, putting women’s health at risk and increasing the risk of unplanned pregnancy.

“The Health Minister should have issued a mandatory recall as soon as Alysena manufacturer, Apotex, informed her of the problems with lot LF01899A of their contraceptive pill. Some women may have continued to use it up to a week after the problem was discovered. Initially deemed a voluntary recall by Health Canada, the minister failed to take into account the risks of unplanned pregnancies for many women,” said NDP Health critic, Libby Davies.

A packaging error led to this recall. The blister packs normally include three rows of active pills and one of placebos. Alysena-28 lot LF01899A may only contain two rows of active pills.

“The fact that neither the Health Minister nor Apotex thought it was necessary to inform users of the contraceptive of the risk of unplanned pregnancies is appalling. Alysena is distributed across the entire country. The minister showed a lack of judgement. We must do everything we can to prevent such incidents from happening again,” said deputy Health critic Djaouida Sellah.