American Home Products Pulls Painkiller Off the Market

From Bloomberg News

American Home Products Corp., maker of Advil painkiller and Centrum vitamins, pulled its painkiller Duract off the market Monday after reports of four deaths and eight liver transplants among its users.

Eleven of the patients took the powerful prescription painkiller for more than the maximum recommended 10 days of use and suffered severe liver failure, the Madison, N.J.-based drug maker said. In the other case, the patient already had serious liver disease.

Shares in American Home, which is expected to generate $15 billion in sales this year, fell $1.06 to close at $51.06 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Although the Food and Drug Administration and American Home's Wyeth-Ayerst unit agreed in February to change Duract's label to emphasize that it shouldn't be taken for more than 10 days, some doctors continued to prescribe it for longer periods.

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