Altaire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has issued recalls for potentially defective eye drops and ointments sold at Walgreens and Wal-Mart stores over concerns that the products may not be sterile. According to a USA Today news report, in addition, Perrigo has also issued a recall of prescription eye ointments for the same reason. In total, there are 23 affected products under different product name and brands and 150 affected lots that are potentially not sterile.
The recalls are being called a “precautionary measure.” Altaire has not received reports of any adverse events. However, officials are warning that administration of the non-sterile eye drops or ointments could result in serious, potentially life-threatening infections or even death. Anyone with questions about this recall is asked to contact Altaire at 1-800-258-2471 or email email@example.com. Anyone who is experiencing problems after using these products is urged to contact his or her doctor.
What “Sterile” Means
Manufacturing medications in a “sterile” manner means maintaining an environment that is free from viruses, bacteria or any other potentially infectious microorganisms. This type of compounding is typically used for medications that will be administered through an IV, injection or directly into the patient’s eyes. Administering medications through these routes have a very high risk of infection, which is why using proper sterile compounding techniques can help significantly reduce the risk of infection.
There are certain procedures and techniques that must be followed to make sure a medication is sterile and not contaminated with infectious pathogens. Workers must wear proper personal protective equipment such as hair coverings, gloves, goggles and masks. They should also use a compounding hood and sterilize all equipment such as flasks, beakers, spatulas and syringes. Compounding surfaces must also be cleaned with a germicidal substance and disinfected with a substance containing alcohol.
If You Have Been Affected
If you or a loved one has suffered an infection or adverse side effect as a result of using these defective eye drops and ointments, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer can help victims and families better understand their legal rights and options.