Pfizer Recalling Birth Control Pills

On Tuesday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) announced it was recalling approximately 1 million packets of birth control pills because the pills may be able to do what they’re supposed to do: prevent pregnancy.  The recall effects Lo/Ovral-28, Norgestrel, and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets.

Pfizer made the call after an investigation revealed that some of the contraceptives may not have contained enough of their active ingredients to be effective.  The company stressed that the pills, if already taken, posed no direct health threat, but they cautioned any affected users to immediately begin using other forms of non-hormonal contraception.

It’s been a bad week for Pfizer as the company reported sharply down fourth quarter results that reflected the company’s struggles from Lipitor going off-patent. Currency headwinds from a strong dollar forced the company to cut its 2012 profit forecast.

These disappointments were offset marginally by sales gains in other major products such as anti-arthritis drug Enbrel and painkiller Celebrex (both up 7 percent). Anti-impotence drug Viagra sales were higher by 5 percent.

Here’s how Pfizer shares are reacting to the big news:

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE): PFE shares recently traded at $21.35, up $0.17, or 0.8%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.63 to $22.17. Volume today was 11,457,580 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 47,024,600 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.83, while trailing earnings are $1.44 per share.