Drug Recalls Frequent But Not Always Publicized

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have found that drug recalls, although common, are not well communicated to the public, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and reported by Fox.

For this study, researchers analyzed more than 1,700 drug recalls from 2004 to 2011. Of those drugs, 91 were classified as Call I recalls, which means the drugs could result in adverse health effects or death.


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The FDA uses two systems for publicizing drug recalls. Over the study time period (2004-2011), the agency issued approximately 2,900 alerts over its Recall Alert System for drug recalls. Of the 91 Class I recalls, the agency only issued alerts for 55 drugs. Another 18 drug recalls were announced through the FDA's second system MedWatch. Ultimately, 18 drug recalls were never publicly reported through either system.

The researchers noted that the FDA is continuing efforts to improve communications about drug recalls to healthcare providers.

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