Drug manufacturer Hospira has announced the recall of four different injectable cancer drugs because the presence of a defect in their glass vials could result in embedded particles contaminating the medication. The recalled products are carboplatin, cytarabine, paclitaxel and methotrexate.
The flaw in the glass vials occurs at the neck; particles embedded in the glass there can dislodge and fall into the contained medical solutions. If this occurs, patients receiving the medication can suffer serious injuries, including bleeding, bruising, inflammation, itching, rash, chest pains and symptoms of respiratory distress.
Hospira says the cause of the problem was a supplier glass defect. The company says it has arranged for the return and replacement of all the recalled products according to the notice filed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In May, Hospira was forced to recall several batches of the injectable painkillers morphine and hydromorphone because dosage vials had accidentally been overfilled. An investigation into the matter revealed that as many as 280 batches, manufactured over a more than two year time period, could have been affected by the problem.
In that instance, the FDA issued safety alerts instead of a recall, fearing that a recall could cause a shortage of the medications. The FDA recommended that pharmacists and health care providers merely check the syringes to be sure they are appropriately filled, returning any vials that were fuller than their written labels to the manufacturer.
In the wake of that incident, Hospira announced that they would be implementing a series of manufacturing and quality control management changes in order to get on top of these types of safety problems. As the newest recall indicates, the changes have not been sufficient to improve the safety of Hospira's medical products.
The medical injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin are tired of the slew of recent safety recalls affecting products as crucial to public health as cancer medications. We call on drug manufacturers to place more emphasis on quality control before releasing their products to the public. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drug or medical device that was manufactured improperly, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our office today for a free consultation.