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Failure to contact patients for recalls can lead to drug injuries

If asked to remember the last time that they heard of a motor vehicle being recalled, most people in Ohio might be able to readily answer. Now, if questioned about the most recent drug recall, many consumers might have trouble recalling a specific case. Unfortunately, an apparent lack of transparency from pharmaceutical companies could be leading to unnecessary drug injuries.

Manufacturers of faulty or defective medication might not be entirely at fault for the lack of awareness concerning dangerous drugs, as the FDA does not mandate the those companies actually contact patients taking the affected medication. What the FDA does require is that pharmaceutical companies let their customers know of a recall, but customers are insurance companies, doctors, pharmacies and other medical professionals. Under this definition, patients are not included.

This policy can be especially dangerous for patients taking a recalled medication. Mylan, the manufacturer of methotrexate, had to recall the drug on two separate occasions in only five years. The recall only affected the injectable form of the drug, which is used to treat various autoimmune diseases and cancer. However, most patients never got word that there could possibly be particulate matter — specifically, glass — lurking in the vials of their medication. To this day, Mylan has still yet to issue any type of apology to victims.

Where pharmaceutical companies like Mylan fail when it comes to drug recalls, social media picks up. Many Ohio patients find out that their medications have been recalled after the news spreads around websites like Facebook and Twitter, but for many victims the news often arrives too late to avoid injury. Drug injuries can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s overall well-being, and related pain and suffering can continue far into the future. Victims who have wrongly suffered injuries from defectively designed or manufactured drugs might want to consider the potential benefits of successfully navigating a products liability claim against the manufacturer.

Source: health.usnews.com, “The Problem With Drug Recalls”, Seth D. Ginsberg, June 1, 2015

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