How to Stay Safe and Informed During an FDA Recall of Your Medication
Our chapter on drug recalls within Your Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer outlines just how frighteningly common FDA recall actions on pharmaceutical products are in the United States today. In that chapter, we also touched on some of the things you should do to protect yourself when your medication or other medical devices you rely on are discovered to be defective and officially recalled.
Due to the recent—and still developing—Zantac recall, we’re delving a little deeper into FDA recalls of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines in today’s post.
If you’re afraid you’ve been injured or have gotten sick from taking any recalled drug, get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney today. In the meantime, learn more about what to do when the FDA announces a drug recall for any medication you or your loved ones currently take or have used at any time in the past.
Get to Know the FDA’s Drug Recall Terminology
It is important to remember that in the U.S., the federal government-based FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is typically involved in all drug recall processes. This body does not tend to act quickly. Still, it does give consumers a centralized place to find crucial public health information on drug safety issues and testing.
If you use any medications or over-the-counter remedies, you should get to know the FDA’s drug recalls website and some specific terms and classifications they use. Taking the time to understand FDA recalls of drugs and medical devices is key to keeping yourself safe, and we encourage you to review the administration’s basic FDA 101 overview information.
The Different Recall Classifications
It’s true that some recalls are due to simple packaging errors, and the drugs you’ve purchased are not themselves defective or dangerous. Injuries could still result from mislabeling, of course, but the product itself is not inherently unsafe for its intended users.
Other recalls involve (in the FDA’s words) “dangerous or defective products that predictably could cause serious health problems or death.” Note that the current Zantac/ranitidine recall, as well as the earlier Valsartan recall, both involve a chemical—NDMA—that is known to cause cancer. That fact means that these particular drug recalls are some of the most critical in FDA history.
The FDA uses a rating system to express the threat level of a given recall, with classifications between I-III (Roman numerals 1-3). We invite you to review our drug recall chapter from our previously published Complete Guide post series to get the details. A Class I recall is the most serious. In contrast, Class III recalls deal more with labeling and manufacturing law violations.
Other Important Recalled Product Terms to Know
This term refers to a digest-type document the FDA releases to the public each week. The document contains information on each recall according to its classification. Note that not all FDA recalls involve drugs or medications—the administration also recalls food and other consumable products. As the Enforcement Report’s name suggests, it also contains information on specific actions taken by the recalling product manufacturer or the FDA itself.
Market withdrawals occur when products violate the FDA rules in a minor way that would not be subject to FDA legal action. In these situations, the product manufacturer or other responsible party removes the product from the market or corrects the violation. Once the correction has been made, the product will typically go back on sale.
Medical Device Safety Alert
When a medical device—something like a pacemaker or other health-related item that is not necessarily a drug—is found to present “an unreasonable risk of substantial harm,” it may gain a safety alert instead of being entirely recalled. Always be sure to look for medical device safety alerts on any devices you are currently using.
Check in With Your Doctor
Never Stop Taking Your Prescriptions Without Consulting Your Doctor First
If you’re taking a prescription for a medical condition, it is never a good idea to stop without first consulting your doctor. As soon as you hear of a recall action regarding a medicine you take, call your doctor to discuss your options to make sure your condition is being safely managed.
Know Your Legal Rights—Call a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
Discovering that a medication you rely on is the subject of a significant FDA recall can be confusing and scary. And knowing whether you’re a victim of the irresponsible drug industry is not always easy.
If you’ve suffered a severe reaction to a recalled drug—or even if you’re unsure that your health issues could be related to a recalled drug—you may be entitled to compensation. Contacting a compassionate, experienced personal injury lawyer for help won’t cost you anything to learn more about your potential recalled and defective drugs case.
Westmoreland Injury Lawyers is Western PA’s Drug Recall Resource
Here in Greensburg, Westmoreland Injury Lawyers is the region’s best legal resource for people just like you who have been hurt by defective drugs or even medical malpractice. Our caring attorneys and staff are dedicated to friendly and personal service that alleviates confusion and fear for our valued clients.
Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE legal evaluation.