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5 Things You Should Know About Drug Recalls

Updated: May 29, 2019

Everything you need to know about drug recalls is here!


Have you ever had a drug in your cabinet and suddenly heard that it may be a part of a drug recall? Well, this happens more you than you think. Many people hear drug recall and automatically think that it's this scary government enforced protocol in which the company must have done something bad. In so many ways, you are right but there is simply more to it. Below we are going to clarify the 5 most important things you need to know about drug recalls and how it impacts you.


1. A drug recall is the most effective way to protect the public from a defective or potentially harmful product.


Did you know that a recall is a voluntary action taken by a company at any time to remove a defective drug product from the market? Yup, that's right! The company often takes it upon themselves to pull the drug from the market to ensure all safety protocols are being met for the public. Most times, the government did not bust through the company's doors demanding that they pull their defective drug from the market, they do it on their own.


2. Not all recalls are announced on FDA.gov or in the news media.


You would've thought this should've been a law; drug recalls SHOULD be announced on FDA.gov or on the news! And why wouldn't you? How else is the public supposed to become aware of a recall, right? Most people may believe this to be outrageous! But, public notification is generally issued when a product that has been widely distributed or poses a serious health hazard is recalled.


However, there are safe guards in place if compliance is not met. If a company does not issue public notification of a recall, FDA may do so if the agency determines it is necessary to protect patients. So, it's not totally ignored but many people believe that drug recalls should be in the public eye all the time.


3. You Always Have Access to Recalls


Did you know, as a consumer, there are always ways to be in the know about drug recalls? Not only are you able to access drug recalls through the FDA.gov but as patients you are also able learn about specific company's medicine(s) that has been recalled through notification from the manufacturer, your health care professional or pharmacist. Remember, If you have a medicine that has been recalled, always talk to your health care professional about the best course of action for your health, including the possibility of returning the product to the store in which you purchased it.


4. All Recalls Are Posted Weekly Within The FDA


Did you know that ALL recalls are posted weekly in the FDA Enforcement Report. Recalls

that are classified will have a classification of Class I, Class II or Class III based on the level of hazard. Even ongoing recalls that have not been classified are also published in the enforcement report as “not yet classified” in the classification field! After the recall classification has been determined, the recall is updated in the enforcement report with

its appropriate classification. Interesting, right!


5. Knowing Your Recall Classifications

It is always good to understand the lingo in order to be in the know, so here are a few pointers for you to understand which classifications hold serious importance.


Class I: A dangerous or defective product that could cause serious

health problems or death.


Class II: A product that might cause a temporary health problem, or

pose slight threat of a serious nature.


Class III: A products that is unlikely to cause any adverse health

reaction, but that violates FDA labeling or manufacturing laws.


Drug recalls are a serious issue. It is never good to assume the things you hear are true, it is ALWAYS good to do your research and know the facts. Now that you know a little more about the most effective way to protect the public, how recalls are announced, how you can access a recall and what their classification meanings are, you are now well prepared for the next time you hear, "there's been a drug recall". Now go and spread the news!


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