Brazil Halts German Drug Firm’s Sales
The Brazilian government suspended sales of all products made by German pharmaceutical giant Schering’s local subsidiary, whose phony birth control pills are blamed for several unwanted pregnancies. The suspension by the Health Ministry came two days after Schering was slapped with a $2.5-million fine, following reports by at least 10 women that they became pregnant after taking fake Microvlar contraceptives manufactured by Schering. Schering said the bogus pills were intended solely to test new packaging equipment and were stolen and sold illegally. Schering can produce but not sell its other products until authorities conduct a new inspection of its facilities, the Health Ministry said. Production of Microvlar has been stopped and will resume only after Schering recalls all of its packages from drugstores and changes its packaging format.