If you have ever been involved in a recall, whether it be your car, appliance or children’s toy, you already know the amount of stress it can cause. Taking time out of your busy day to return or rectify the recalled item isn’t always an easy option. And while those recalls matter to you because of the convenience they provide, or the amount spent to purchase the item, there is arguably no recall more important than a drug recall.
Every so often, you may here of a drug recall on your local news station. The class of the recall indicates the severity of the issue and informs the public on how harmful the medication might be if usage is continued. These classes are broken into three categories:
Class I: Most severe recall. Exposure or continued consumption of this drug will pose serious health problems or death.
Class II: Could cause temporary, reversible health problems.
Class III: Unlikely to cause health problems, but violates the FDA labeling or manufacturing laws.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keeps a searchable list of all drug recalls, along with a product description, reason for the recall and drug manufacturer. This list allows you to search any medication you are currently taking to see if the medication has been recalled and reason for the recall. For instance, NeoRelief was recalled on September 12, 2018 for possible microbial contamination. The list also provides an announcement section where the manufacturer can update the public and provide contact information for any notifications of adverse reactions, which is vital for patient safety.
If you’ve never been aware of a drug recall, you’re not alone. Unless the drug is a Class I recall, you may never have been made aware of it. Pharmacists do not have a legal responsibility to inform their patients of a drug recall, however, the pharmacy’s wholesale provider will typically provide them with a list of all drugs and lot numbers once a medication has been recalled.
Our process here at Injured Workers Pharmacy is different. Our Pharmacy staff works directly with our suppliers to get accurate, up to date lists of any recalled medications. We proactively reach out to our patients and their prescriber to alert them of the drug recall, even if it is not life threatening. This is a completely voluntary process, but one that our team feels is ethically responsible.
If you have been notified about a drug recall that affects you, our Pharmacists are always available to discuss your treatment plan. The most important thing is to continue taking your medication as prescribed, unless you have been notified to stop taking the medication immediately. Our Pharmacists will work with your doctor to get an alternative medication written and filled as fast as possible.