Endo shifting production after Novartis shutdown

Endo Pharmaceuticals of Chadds Ford said Monday it was warning doctors and consumers of possible short-term supply problems with some of its drugs and consumer products manufactured at a plant operated by Novartis Consumer Health in Lincoln, Neb.

Endo said there could be a short-term supply problem with drugs such as Opana ER, Percocet and Endocet, among others. The company was starting production of Percocet and Endocet at its facility in Huntsville, Ala., to help supply.

Novartis and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the production at the Novartis plant was stopped because of manufacturing problems that might result in broken or chipped pills and packaging mistakes.

Novartis said it is recalling certain lots of Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X medicines, but apparently only the Gas-X medicine is made in the same part of the factory with the Endo products.

As always, pharmacist and patients are encouraged to look carefully at the pills they dispense and ingest.

"We are working collaboratively with the FDA to minimize the disruption to patients currently on therapy. Given existing inventories, the expected restart of Novartis production and our ability to shift production to other facilities we believe the supply constraints of our products should be limited," said Julie McHugh, chief operating officer of Endo Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement. "With Novartis as the sole manufacturer of the current formulation of Opana ER, we plan to temporarily moderate demand of the product by asking physicians to refrain from starting new patients on Opana ER in order to minimize disruption for patients currently on the product. We currently expect this to be a short-term issue and we remain focused on working with the healthcare community to optimize the continued supply of our products for current patients."

The Endo press release is here.

Endo's 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission is here.

The Novartis press release is here.