Congress investigates FDA inspection of Actavis

On October 8, John Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), chairman of that committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, wrote a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach to request more information concerning the FDA’s procedure for examining manufacturing facilities of the generic drug manufacturer Actavis after several of the company’s products were recalled.

Dingell and Stupak’s letter questions not only the FDA’s inspection of the company’s facilities, but if the FDA should have allowed this company to resume its operation, even though it has a history of recalls.

According to PharmTech, Congress wants the FDA to provide documents “on all FDA-regulated products that Acatavis received approval to sell in the United States since January 1, 2003.”

At the end of July, Actavis Totowa decided to voluntarily recall “the retail level of all drug products manufactured at its Little Falls, New Jersey, facility.” This recall took place after the FDA conducted an inspection of the company in April when Digitek was recalled because the pills were double in “the appropriate thickness.” In this third recall, the recalled pills are believed to have contained twice the correct amount of medication.

Digitek is not the only product that Actavis has recalled; in March, Actavis South Atlantic LLC recalled U.S-sold fentanyl transdermal system CII patches. They may have “a fold-over defect,” which may leak fentanyl gel.

The Actavis Group is not only the producer of Digitek but also many other products. According to Actavis’ website, Actavis is “one of the world’s leading players in first-class generic pharmaceuticals.” We will see just how much longer this statement remains to be true.