We decided to do our analysis on the current crisis in the media regarding the recent recall of Pfizer’s birth control pills.
Here is some background information on the company:
Pfizer’s has been the dominant force in the pharmaceutical business for several years now. Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol are not their only products but Pfizer has created every product that ranges from Advil to Viagra, creating over 40 products, which distributes to over 10 countries. Current CEO Ian Read has been CEO for less than 3 years currently but has been with the company for over 30 years. Pfizer’s success has been dominant in many way’s creating several mergers, which led to their billion dollar status, along with the success with each of their divisions, which include Human Health and Animal Health divisions.
Please read the following press release that was issued on Pfizer’s website:
Please also watch the following video from the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall:
Please watch this video on coverage of the story: http://www.newschannel5.com/global/video/flash/popupplayer.asp?ClipID1=6702763&h1=Pfizer%20recalls%201M%20birth%20control%20packs%20after%20mix-up&vt1=v&at1=News%20-%20AP-National&d1=91667&LaunchPageAdTag=News%20-%20AP-National&activePane=info&rnd=96416775
Finally, please watch this video which briefly talks about the last recall: http://www.newsy.com/videos/pfizer-recalls-more-than-one-million-birth-control-packs/
By reading and watching the above links you should get a pretty good idea of what’s going on. Pfizer came to the conclusion that there were 30 packs of birth control pills that received an inaccurate count and as a result of that there were one million packs that were removed from shelves. Pfizer also notified the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The media and news were notified and the word spread so that the public was aware. They recommended that women who have been using these pills should consult with their physician and begin using a non-hormonal barrier method immediately. Women were also advised to return the product immediately. Chief Medical Officer, Freda Lewis-Hall, did a video that explained the mix up and gave advice on how it should be handled. Medical experts are saying that this incident should remind woman how imperative it is to keep up with the your birth control pills and to make sure they are taking the right one’s on the right days. It seems as if there were not any big apology or anything that was said to ensure that this wouldn’t happen again, Pfizer is just giving the impression that it was a mistake and it won’t happen again. The emphasis is mainly on the recall and seeing a physician if the pills were used
Pfizer made comments like:
“Because of our high quality standards”
“Patients are our first priority & here at Pfizer we’re committed to serving quality medicines”
“We understand that this news can be very concerning and confusing for any women who take birth control pills”
“We share your concerns”
“Want to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information”
All of these statements make Pfizer sound like they really care about their customers and a company to count on but if you compare the video to the articles and press release, you might have noticed a different fact that jumps out at us. Dr. Lewis-Hall states in the video that “if you are a women who’s been taking Lo/Overal – 28 or Lo/Ovral-28 tablets or generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets over that last several months, to please consult with your physician.” This says that they don’t know exactly when this started but they do know, as stated in the news release, video and articles that it was because of a visual inspection and mechanical error. So because a human visually inspected incorrectly or have the machine checked effectively this error occurred. In the last video, you hear about another birth control recall that happened in September. Qualitest Pharmaceuticals recalled 1.4 million birth control pills due to a different packaging error. Pfizer just conducted that one video from Dr. Lewis-Hall and the Press Release.
In your opinion, how does all of this information on this situation make Pfizer look? By using the five stages of a crisis, please explain what you believe Pfizer did right or wrong. Do you think they should of addressed the public more than just a press release and statement on the issue? Do you believe that Pfizer owes women who were using this product an apology? If so, what else could they have done or said? What do you think the outcome of this recall will be on the products itself? If you were the PR Professional would you do anything different? If so, what?