Merck IUD lot hit with Hong Kong recall

Hong Kong regulators slapped Merck ($MRK) with a recall of its intrauterine contraceptive devices after discovering what appeared to be dust or hair inside some product packaging.

The recall affects a single lot of Merck's Multiload Radiopaque Cu375 IUCDs. Regulators said they found "hair-like or dust-like impurities" inside 30 sterile pouches containing 300 of the birth control devices, which Hong Kong's Maternal and Child Health Centres were preparing to distribute, Hong Kong's Department of Health said in a news release.

They warn providers to stop using the affected products immediately--all with lot number SM-3337-13. Merck wants anyone with questions or concerns to call a special hotline number in Hong Kong: (3971 2913).

So far, health officials haven't received reports of any problems with the devices. As many as 950 from the affected lot had already been distributed to private and public hospitals, plus a number of private clinics.

Merck (Merck Sharp & Dohm outside the U.S. and Canada) is only the product's distributor. Regulators note that Ireland's Multilan AG is the manufacturer.

- read the release