Whether taking an over-the-counter (OTC) drug or one prescribed by a doctor, patients generally assume that medications are safe. But mistakes happen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued six new safety alerts at the end of last month alone, one safety communication and five product recalls.
The FDA issues safety alerts to provide timely new safety information on human drugs, medical devices, vaccines and other products including biologics, dietary supplements and cosmetics. The alerts are publicly available at the agency’s MedWatch website and contain “actionable information that may impact both treatment and diagnostic choices for healthcare professional and patient.” The following list includes all Medwatch alerts for from July 1, 2019 through October 30, 2019. There are several types of alerts, including letters to health care providers, warnings to users, drug safety notices and recalls. The most serious alert is a Class I recall, indicating that continued use of these devices may cause serious injury or death.
The agency, which effectively oversees $2.4 trillion of the U.S. economy, issues warning letters about the safety of drugs that are already on the market. Dangerous drugs can slip past the FDA and find their way to consumers and, in some cases, cause serious problems — these are the worst drug recalls in history.