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SafetyAlerts
December 2, 1999

Schering/Key Pharmaceuticals Vanceril 84 mcg Double Stength Recalled

Kenilworth, NJ (SafetyAlerts) - Schering/Key Pharmaceuticals today announced a voluntary recall of five lots of Vanceril 84 mcg Double Stength (beclomethasone dipropionate, 84 mcg) Inhalation Aerosol Convenience Pack, a prescription medication for the maintenance treatment of asthma. The company is taking this action because it has determined that a number of canisters in the five lots listed below may not contain the active drug.

Schering/Key is advising that the matter should be considered very serious and one that merits immediate attention. Patients using an affected canister without the active drug would be expected to experience a lack of effectiveness which may result in increased asthma symptoms, need for other asthma medications, emergency room visits or hospitalization.

Because of the nature of the problem, a patient cannot determine whether they have an affected metered dose inhaler (MDI) just by actuating their MDI. An affected MDI may appear to emit an aerosol even if it does not contain active drug.

The recalled lots were distributed nationwide in November and have the numbers 9-DMT-157, 9-DMT-158, 9-DMT-160, 9-DMT-161 and 9-DMT-163.   The inhalers have an expiration date of July 2000. The lot number and expiration date appear on either the top or bottom flaps of the package and on the canister label. No other lots of VANCERIL 84 mcg DOUBLE STRENGTH Inhalation Aerosol Convenience Pack are involved.

The recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There have been no reported medical adverse events related to the recalled lots.

The cause of the problem has been identified as inadequate batch start-up practices that occurred for a short period during filling of the subject lots. The company has taken corrective actions to prevent a recurrence.

The recall is being extended to individual patients, pharmacies and direct-account customers such as wholesalers and chain drug stores. Direct-account customers have been asked to return any units from the subject lots on hand and to request that their customers return any units from the subject lots to them.

Patients who have had prescriptions for VANCERIL 84 mcg DOUBLE STRENGTH Inhalation Aerosol Convenience Pack filled since November 1999 are advised to check the lot numbers and return any inhalers from the subject lots to the pharmacy for free replacement.

Any questions regarding the recall should be directed to the Recall Services Center (toll free) at 1-800-621-9760.

Schering/Key Pharmaceuticals is a business unit of Schering Laboratories, the U.S. pharmaceutical marketing arm of Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) of Madison, N.J., a research-based company engaged in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products worldwide.

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.