Product recalls are commonplace in the American market because the country prioritizes public safety. Brands and manufacturers are liable to pull back goods when they are defective or dangerous for consumption. Over the years, almost 4000 products from 361 companies have been recalled. These include food products, automobiles, personal care items, and medications.
Drug recalls are a critical subject as they have far-reaching implications. Every medication is rigorously tested by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness before being launched in the market. The FDA continues to monitor it for any unforeseen issues. It may initiate a recall any time a problem surfaces.
As a consumer, you can rest assured about drug safety because the FDA has your back. But a sudden recall may be stressful for someone taking the medication regularly. Should you consult your practitioner sooner than later? What could be the possible impact of the action on your healthcare plan? How can you deal with the existing risks?
Let us explain the drug recall process and everything else you need to know about defective medications.
When Does a Drug Recall Happen?
A drug recall happens when an over-the-counter or prescription medication is removed from the shelves. Sometimes, the FDA instructs the manufacturer to recall a product after receiving public complaints. At other times, the makers can voluntarily take a drug back because they discover a problem with it.
EzriCare and Delsam Artificial Tears recall is one of the latest in the American market. Global Pharma Healthcare issued a recall for these products in February 2023, owing to the potential bacterial contamination. According to a CDC report, some people lost their vision and four died due to these products. The EzriCare Artificial Tears lawsuit reinforces the validity of the action in a legal context.
Anyone diagnosed with an infection, suffering from permanent vision loss, or having vision problems may be eligible to file a claim against the manufacturer. TorHoerman Law notes that the manufacturer can be held liable despite issuing a voluntary recall because they are responsible for the pain and suffering of people who have already sustained damage.
Reasons for Drug Recalls
Drug recalls are a serious matter for business owners, regulatory agencies, and consumers alike. Several factors make valid cases for the action. These include:
Potential Health Hazards
Health hazards related to a product are the primary reason for a recall. Unfortunately, health risks often surface after the widespread use of most drugs. For example, some decongestants and weight loss medicines were recalled in 2000 as the drug phenylpropanolamine (PPA) in them was linked with the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Contamination during the production or distribution of a product is another valid reason for recalls. EzriCare Artificial Tears recall is an instance, with many cases of eye infections and vision loss coming up in recent times.
Manufacturing defects can affect the quality, purity, and potency of products, leading to adverse health outcomes for consumers. Recall is the best solution.
Mislabeling/Poor Packaging/Inaccurate information
Mislabeling, poor packaging, and inaccurate information are less serious reasons for drug recalls. But they may still have some implications, such as a patient taking a higher dose due to confusing dosing instructions, an issue with the dosing tool, or inaccurate ingredient information. Pfizer and Biohaven recently took back 4.2 million units of migraine therapy Nurtec ODT because the packaging was not child-proof.
How Consumers Should Deal With a Drug Recall
Consumers need to act quickly when a drug recall is issued because the action is a warning by itself. The best piece of advice to deal with a recall of an over-the-counter drug is to stop taking it immediately. You can return the medication and seek a refund because stores work with a return and refund policy after a recall order.
Here are other tips to address the problem:
- Seek a substitute from your doctor if you are a regular user or have a condition requiring prescription treatment.
- Avoid panicking because most recalls are for minor issues such as packaging or labeling mistakes.
- Gather facts by researching the FDA website to understand the reason and potential implications of the recall.
- Safely discard the recalled medication even if you may not be currently using it. The last thing you want is your kids or pets laying hands on an unsafe drug.
The Bottom Line
Drug recalls are common in the pharmaceutical industry, but they can be scary for consumers. Getting an education is key because the reason determines whether you are at risk of unsafe usage. If something is amiss, you must see your doctor and seek advice regarding the potential side effects and risks of using defective medicines. You may also consider legal action if the medication has led to severe implications.