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Why are medications recalled by the Food and Drug Administration?

In the news, it's commonplace to hear about a number of different items that are being recalled. Among the more common things you're likely to hear about, there are toys, food, electronics and cars.

Medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter ones, are likely to be recalled though as well. In fact, one of the main responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to recall any products of this type that it believes to pose some type of danger to the public's overall health.

The FDA is most apt to issue a recall for a product if it receives reports that patients who have taken it have suffered adverse effects from doing so.

There are also instances in which FDA inspectors may visit a manufacturing plant where a medicine is formulated or packaged or a medical device is made. If the facility is believed to be unsanitary or pose some other safety risk, then it's possible that the medication made there will be recalled.

Another situation in which the FDA may issue a recall is if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises them of what they determine to be a trending adverse reaction patients appear to be suffering from. They're likely to pull a drug or device off the market if they receive several substantiated reports that it causes significant patient injury, illness or death.

FDA recalls are classified into one of three different categories depending on how serious of a threat they believe the drug or device poses. Class I recalls are the highest priority ones. They are thought to pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury.

A Class II recall is one that is believed to put the patient at risk of becoming either critically injured or making him or her temporarily ill. A medication or device covered under a Class III recall are not necessarily believed to pose an injury or illness risk, but are believed to go against FDA regulations.

If you've been become gravely ill after taking a medication or if you've been seriously hurt after using a medical device, then a Queens personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights to file a lawsuit in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "FDA: Recall types," accessed Nov. 30, 2017

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