A report recently released by Stericycle Expert Solutions, finds that the number of pharmaceutical recalls has dropped recently, while the number of medical device recalls has gone up. The Recall Index is a report that aims to make the public more aware of recalls and uses information collected from multiple government and consumer sources.
Prescription Drug Recalls
The report, which was recently released, detailed the recent prescription drug recalls seen in the U.S. and found that there were 65 just in the third quarter of 2016. This seems like a lot, but it is a 20 percent drop when compared to the previous quarter. The bad news is that it is higher than the average number of drug recalls seen across all quarters of 2015.
The size of recalls also increased. Since the beginning of 2016, the number of lots of drugs recalled in each incident has steadily increased, with an average now higher than that seen in 2015. Another finding in the report was that ten pharmaceutical companies dealt with more than one recall in the last quarter. This means that there is a significant number of companies that has had multiple issues with their products.
Medical Device Recalls
The report also looked into the statistics of medical device recalls and found that these grew in the third quarter, by a record amount. The number of device recalls increased by 29 percent since the previous quarter, but more alarming is that this quarter’s recall level for medical devices was the highest in over 15 years. Last quarter saw 339 medical device recalls, representing more than 116 million actual devices affected.
More than half of the medical device recalls from last quarter were over quality issues in the manufacturing of the devices. The next most common reason for a recall was an issue with software or mislabeling of a device. Fifty separate companies had more than one medical device product involved in a recall in the third quarter. The record-setting number of device recalls has been blamed largely on software issues. While quality control was the number one problem, software was a new issue that grew rapidly in the third quarter.
The Recall Index is the only such report that collates so much data and that tracks information regarding the recall of products. It looks not just at medical devices and pharmaceuticals, but also at consumer products and foods and beverages. All of this information helps people in the industry be more aware of the trends and the issues surrounding recalls. It provides a resource that professionals in the industry can use to make improvements and to attempt to reduce the number of recalls in the future.
For consumers this information is a valuable resource for awareness. People rely on pharmaceuticals and medical devices, sometimes with their lives, and depend on them to be effective and safe. Awareness of the fact that these products can fail is an important way for consumers and patients to be more involved in their own health care.