How Lupin Pharmaceuticals Blood Pressure Medication Recall Due to ‘Probable’ Carcinogen Affected Its Stock

White pad next to a manometer to measure blood pressure and a stethoscope in a hospital, conceptual image stock photo
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Nearly a week after Lupin Pharmaceuticals announced a voluntary recall of two types of blood pressure medications, the company continues to see its stock price slide (though the hit could have been a lot bigger).

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On Oct. 14, the Food and Drug Administration announced that Lupin was voluntarily recalling batches of Irbesartan Tablets and Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets after an analysis revealed that certain tested active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) batches were above the specification limit for a possible impurity called N-nitrosoirbesartan.

Lupin shares slumped 1.7% that day on the National Stock Exchange of India and have closed lower each of the next three sessions. On Wednesday, its stock fell nearly 1% to 929.65 — about 5% off the October high of 979.90 set on Oct. 13.

Lupin’s stock does not trade on any U.S. exchanges. The company is owned by India-based Lupin Ltd. Its U.S. operation is headquartered in Baltimore and also has offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. The fact that its stock trades halfway around the world might have something to do with the relatively small hit it has taken.

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The recall affects all of Lupin’s Irbesartan tablets (75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg), and Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide tablets (150 mg/12.5 mg and 300 mg/12.5 mg), Fast Company reported. Both drugs are used to treat hypertension. The tablets were packaged in 30- and 90-count bottles in the U.S. and sold nationwide at drugstores, supermarkets and mail-in pharmacies.

The recall was issued under an “abundance of caution,” Lupin said in a statement. The potential impurity was found in some batches during the manufacturing process, but not in any finished batches. N-nitrosoirbesartan has been classified as a “probable” carcinogen in laboratory tests conducted by the FDA.

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Retailers that stocked the affected bottles have been instructed to ship them back to the manufacturer, while patients are advised to keep taking the pills until they can contact their doctors to prescribe alternatives. There have been no adverse reactions linked to the recalled batches, Fast Company noted.

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Last updated: October 20, 2021

About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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