I Took a Medication That Has Been Recalled. What Should I Do?

These days, it seems you can’t turn on the television without hearing about another prescription drug recall.

Within the past few years, several major drug recalls have caused many people to wonder what steps they should take after a medication prescribed by their doctor has been pulled from the market for safety reasons.

In September 2012, a New England compounding pharmacy was responsible for a massive outbreak of fungal meningitis that took the lives of 64 people and sickened more than 750 others in 20 states. Meningitis spread through contaminated steroid injections commonly used to treat back pain and other conditions.

In March 2014, an India-based drug manufacturer recalled 64,000 bottles of generic Lipitor, a medication used to treat high cholesterol. The recall, which was issued due to a dosage mix-up, came on the heels of another Lipitor recall issued by the same manufacturer. The previous recall was issued after the manufacturer discovered the drug was contaminated by glass particles.

These recalls represent a very small fraction of the total number of drug recalls issued each year. With so many prescription drugs being pulled from the market due to safety concerns, it is understandably difficult for consumers to trust that the medications they consume are safe and effective.

What to Do If You Have Taken a Recalled Drug

If you have taken a recalled medication, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Depending on the facts of your case, you may also be able to bring a claim against the pharmacist who dispensed the drug.

Your health and safety should always be your first priorities, so it’s important to contact your doctor as soon as you suspect you have taken a recalled drug. Your doctor can begin documenting any symptoms or health concerns, which is invaluable evidence in any personal injury case.

Types of Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates prescription medications, groups recalls into categories based on the level of danger posed by a defective or dangerous drug. A recall can be undertaken voluntarily by the manufacturer and, in fact, most recalls happen this way. The FDA also has the authority to request and even order a manufacturer to remove a drug from the market.

Class I recall. This is the most serious type of recall. A Class I recall is issued when the FDA believes there is a reasonable probability that a drug will cause serious harm or death.

Class II recall. The FDA issues Class II recalls based on a belief that the use of or exposure to a drug may cause temporary or medically reversible health problems.

Class III recall. This type of recall is issued when the use of or exposure to a drug is not likely to cause adverse health conditions.

Market withdrawal. Drugs can be pulled from the market when they have a defect the FDA would not usually monitor. For example, a manufacturer may withdraw a drug due to tampering that took place after the manufacturing process.

Medical device safety alert. Medical devices are removed from the market when they pose an unreasonable risk of causing substantial harm.

Illinois Personal Injury and Product Liability Lawyers

At Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd., we help people who have been injured by dangerous and defective drugs and medical devices. Call today at (312) 779-6610 to speak to one of our product liability lawyers about your case.

This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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