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Partial Recall Issued for Medication Contaminated with Glass

Posted on in Defective Prescription Drugs

A recent recall of the drug atorvastatin, the generic form of Lipitor, has left many consumers confused as to what they should do with the bottles of the medication they have sitting in their medicine cabinets. Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, which produces the drug, have directed pharmacists not to dispense the drug because it may contain specks of glass. But the recall was only directed at the retail level, and the company has given no direction to patients who may have bottles of the contaminated drug in their medicine cabinets. According to a statement issued on the company's website, the recall is being taken “with the full knowledge” of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Headquartered in India, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. In the past, the FDA has accused the company of “a pattern of systemic fraudulent conduct” over a period of years for fabricating data in drug applications, taking shortcuts in crucial quality tests, and violating numerous additional manufacturing standards. In 2008, the federal agency banned Ranbaxy from importing over 30 different drug products into the U.S. That ban still stands today.

In an interview with CNN, a spokesperson for the FDA was unable to answer why the recall isn't advising consumers to stop taking pills and instead referred questions about the recall to Ranbaxy's website.

CNN surveyed several pharmacies and found different policies about the recall. Express Scripts refuses to offer customers and exchange for the possibly contaminated pills. CVS pharmacies are telling their customers they may continue taking the pills, but are offering exchanges for those who want another brand. Consumer Reports is advising customers to return all potentially contaminated medication and ask for another brand.

It is unclear why the FDA is allowing the company to only issue a partial recall of this product, given the company's past record. If you have been exposed to contaminated or defective medication, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what recourse you may have for pain and loss you suffered.

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