Physicians may have issued millions of free, defective drugs

When you go to the doctor’s office, you may notice they offer you sample medicine to try to treat your condition. As a Philadelphia patient already facing medical expenses, free samples are usually a good thing. However, as one major recall points out, defective drugs can pose a threat – including those freebies your doctor hands you.

Routine testing of several types of medication revealed that the shrink-wrapped sleeves that surround the bottles actually posed a threat to the pills. The ink on the wrapping of some of the bottles affected some of the tablets, which prompted the drug company to recall roughly 5.3 million bottles of the medication. The company has sent letters to the physicians who would have received the drugs, and they state they are unsure of how many patients may have taken the medicine.

Most of the medicines involved in the recall were intended to treat hypertension and included Exforge and Exforge HCT. Blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering tablets and even a pill for Parkinson’s disease also may have been affected, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

While the drug company states that the issue didn’t pose a safety risk, the FDA classified the recall as a “Class 2,” which they use when a product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse consequences or if the probability of serious implications is small. Even when a defective product causes slight injury or illness, a victim is entitled to seek compensation for any medical expenses or inconveniences they incur as a result. An attorney who handles product liability cases will be able to help an individual pursue a claim following an incident involving defective drugs.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Novartis Recalls About 5.3 Million Bottles of Sample Drugs,” Peter Loftus, Dec. 23, 2013

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