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Why are there drug recalls?

Vehicles, toys, food, drugs; it seems that there is always something being recalled in New York and throughout the U.S. Despite meeting required testing and safety standards, there may still be problems that aren’t discovered until these products are in the hands of consumers.

The federal government’s Food and Drug Administration requires meticulous testing of drugs before they are released to the market, according to WebMD.com. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it is 100 percent safe. Both the drug maker and the FDA continue to keep an eye on new medication and results of its use. If there are problems, the drug may be recalled either by the maker or upon request of the FDA.

There are several reasons for a drug recall, including these:

  •          Poor quality: The purity and potency of the drug is questionable
  •          Packaging: Instructions on dosing could be confusing or the measuring tool provided, such as a cap or tube, has a problem
  •          Mislabeling: This can be an instance in which a consumer believes he is taking an allergy pill or pain reliever but the medicine is something else entirely
  •          Possible contamination: At some point in production or distribution of the medication, the drug may have become contaminated with another substance, harmful or not

Another reason for a drug recall is that the product itself is a health hazard. It may happen that an unforeseen risk occurs only after the drug is widely used. This is the situation with the drug Meridia, a weight-loss aid that was recalled in 2010 because it increased the risk of stroke and heart attack.

If you are taking over-the-counter medicine that is being recalled, stop taking it immediately. Most stores will offer a refund for recalled drugs. Contact your doctor for a substitute that you can take. If you are taking a prescription drug that is recalled, call your doctor right away.

This article contains general information about drug recalls and should not replace the advice of an attorney.

 

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