Pfizer Ends Thyroid Drug Shortage

Feb 27, 2014

Pfizer will resume shipping Levoxyl, its thyroid-disorder drug, that was in short supply for the past year after a manufacturing quality-related recall.

Pfizer stopped shipping the drug in February 2013 after receiving complaints of plastic-like odors in the product, later attributed to an oxygen-absorbing canister packaged in certain bottles to enhance product stability.

Pfizer then reverted to using Levoxyl made with a previous formulation, only to find that the product did not meet the specification for potency throughout its shelf life. This triggered another recall in May 2013.

The Levoxyl shortage forced patients and doctors to switch to competitor drugs or generics. Patients complained of new side effects with other drugs, such as hair loss and heart palpitations. In an attempt to win back market share, Pfizer is offering eligible patients a 30-day free trial of Levoxyl.