Previous posts here have discussed how the United States Food and Drug Administration regulates both medications and medical devices that are on the American market. While the FDA ideally weeds out dangerous products during its approval process, the process does not, and really cannot, stop all unsafe drugs and other medical devices from hitting the shelves. As a result, like other agencies committed to the safety of consumer products, the FDA from time to time issues recalls or, more properly speaking, persuades a manufacturer to voluntarily recall a product.
The United States Department of Justice is reportedly conducting a criminal investigation into Johnson & Johnson over the presence of asbestos in its famous baby powder. While the details of the investigation are being kept private for now, the federal authorities have apparently asked the company to turn over a number of documents.
A manufacturer of hip implants, Smith & Nephew, is facing serious scrutiny for the way it made some of its hip replacement devices. A Northern Georgia resident who had hip replacement surgery or even a partial hip replacement between 2006 and 2015 may have a Smith & Nephew product in her body.
There are actually two ways in which a manufacturer of a medical device, including infamous ones like certain types of hip implants and vaginal mesh, can get permission from the Food and Drug Administration to market it to the public.
This blog has on several previous occasions reported medical product liability issues with the blood pressure drug valsartan. Several recalls over the past several months have called the safety of the drug in to question, as quantities manufactured overseas have been discovered to include impurities that could cause cancer.
A few years back, the drug manufacturer Pfizer promoted its new product, Xeljanz, as a medicine that could treat a number of ailments that can afflict residents of Northern Georgia.
For a number of years, doctors have used transvaginal mesh products to treat a condition called stress urinary incontinence. This is a medical condition that many women in Northern Georgia and other parts of the country experience in which they will involuntarily urinate while engaging in physical activity or even after a hard sneeze or cough.
Two major drug manufacturers agreed recently to pay $775 million to settle over 25,000 lawsuits filed with respect to the drug Xarelto. As previous posts here have discussed, the drug was supposed to prevent blood clotting. However, it wound up carrying with it the risk of severe and potentially fatal side effects, including significant and uncontrollable bleeding.
There have been several recalls of blood pressure medications following the discovery of chemicals within them that are known carcinogens, that is, chemicals which increase the risk of cancer. Medicinal drugs are, albeit on a much grander scale, made in the same way that one may have performed chemical experiments in high school science class. In other words, the active ingredient in a drug is the result of a chemical reaction in which chemists and their assistants use existing molecules to create helpful medicine.
The last few weeks have seen a rash of additional recalls of the blood pressure medicine Valsartan, with three separate recalls happening in one week. Lest one think that multiple recalls in a week are just an anomaly, there were two others in the week before or after.