- This week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed it sent a letter dated November 13 to Amazon informing the online retail company that it was selling seven unapproved eye drops.1
- The letter said these eye drops were not acknowledged as safe and effective for providing temporary relief for excessive tearing, redness, burning, pink eye, or other eye issues.1
- Jill Furman, director of compliance at the FDA, wrote in the letter that the products in question are 'especially concerning' because when ophthalmic drugs are administered they bypass 'some of the body’s natural defenses.'2
- The seven products named were Similasan Pink Eye Relief, The Goodbye Company Pink Eye, Can-C Eye Drops, Optique 1 Eye Drops, OcluMed Eye Drops, TRP Natural Eye Floaters Relief, and Manzanilla Sophia Chamomile Herbal Eye Drops.3
- Claims made on the packaging and in advertisements for the products troubled regulators, who noted that even the drugs that claimed to be 'homeopathic' or were natural medicines still needed to be vetted by the agency.4
- In a statement, Amazon said it was in the process of removing the products from its e-commerce site.5
- Narrative A, as provided by Benzinga. It's up to a large retailer such as Amazon to make sure the company is not selling products that may be harmful to customers. Until US legislation strengthens or expands the FDA’s power, Amazon must keep these unapproved products off its retail platform. As currently constituted, the FDA is not empowered to track every new over-the-counter eye product that hits the market.
- Narrative B, as provided by USA Today. In fact, the FDA could do more to alert the public about these products before they cause harm. Even physicians aren't sure what to recommend to patients because 1% of eye drops can be problematic. Even under current guidelines, the FDA has enough power to monitor these products and inform everyone about them.