While major drug recalls are often big news, drug recalls happen more often than you may think. A drug recall is a voluntary action taken by a drug company at any time to remove a defective drug product from the market. Each year manufacturers remove approximately 4,500 drugs and medical devices from the market. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rarely has to force a manufacturer to recall a drug. Most drugs are removed from the market before there is any harm to the consumer. However, that isn’t always the case.
Was Your Drug Recalled?
If your drug is recalled, you will usually receive a letter from the manufacturer or be contacted by your pharmacy. This doesn’t always happen, however. If you are unsure about the drugs you are taking, you can check the website of the FDA to see if any of them have been recalled. In some cases, a manufacturer may only recall certain lot numbers of a medication. In the case of generic medication, only some manufacturers may have a recall. You can find out which lot numbers and manufacturers have been recalled through the FDA database.
For medication in bottles or vials, you can usually find the lot number under the expiration date. If your medication comes in a tube, the lot number may be on the crimp at the end of the tube or on the back of the tube. Medication in blister packs will have lot numbers printed directly on the foil. Once you discover that a drug has been recalled, there are some important steps you should take.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
While you may be tempted to stop taking the drug immediately, there may reasons why that is not a good idea. Some drugs have serious side effects if discontinued abruptly. In addition, it is important to keep taking the drug if it is treating a serious condition. Talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible so you can discuss a strategy for getting off the medication. This may involve a slow weaning off process or substituting the drug with something else.
When you discover that your drug has been recalled, you should do some reading up on the recall. Find out the reason for the recall and check how serious it is. Learn how to properly dispose of unused medication. Some manufacturers have specific steps in mind for what you should do with unused medication after a recall.
Consult With an Attorney
If you believe you may have been injured by a recalled drug, you should have an experienced product liability attorney evaluate your case. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the victims of dangerous drugs for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.