What are Drug Recalls?
In drug recalls, the manufacturer of a prescription drug or an over-the-counter medication removes the drug from stores and pharmacies. In other words, the manufacturer no longer allows the drug to be sold altogether, or removes a certain batch of the drug from store shelves, depending on the circumstances.
In some cases, the manufacturer voluntarily recalls a drug or a certain batch of a drug due to a problem or defect that it discovers with the drug. In other cases, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will ask a manufacturer to voluntarily recall a drug. Finally, in some situations, the FDA will order a recall, which forces a manufacturer to recall a drug for safety reasons.
The FDA is always involved in a drug recall, because its main responsibility is to make sure that all drugs are safe for people to take. The FDA also monitors vaccines and other medical devices.
What are the Different Types of Recalls?
Recalls are classified according to the severity of the risk that a drug poses. The different types of recalls include the following:
- Class I Recall – reasonable probability that drug will result in serious health problems or death
- Class II Recall – use of drug will cause temporary or medically reversible health problems
- Class III Recall – use of drug not likely to cause adverse health consequences
- Market Withdrawal – minor problem with drug that FDA would not normally monitor
- Medical Device Safety Alert – medical device has unreasonable risk of causing substantial harm
How Do People Find Out About Drug Recalls?
The drug manufacturer must notify its wholesalers and drugstores to whom it sells the drug of the recall. This notification must tell them to stop distributing the drug, tell them what to do with their remaining supplies of the drug, and tell them to notify their customers of the recall.
Likewise, the FDA maintains an updated list of drug recalls on its website, and often issues press releases to the media to notify the public about drug recalls. Especially in widespread drug recalls that impact many consumers, the media plays an important role in notifying the public about drugs that have been recalled.
Drug Recall Attorneys
Unfortunately, some consumers suffer injury or negative side effects of drugs by using these drugs before they are formally recalled. When this occurs, and the drug is later recalled, either by the manufacturer or the FDA, the injured consumer may have a cause of action for damages against the manufacturer of the drug. An experienced drug recall attorney can assist an injured consumer in investigating claims, evaluating injuries, and determining damages caused by the drug. Therefore, if you believe that you have been injured by a drug that later has been recalled, be sure to contact a drug recall attorney immediately, as you are likely to have only a limited amount of time in which to pursue your claim.