FDA Warns 26 Eye Drop Brands Could Lead to Infection, Vision Loss
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at least 26 over-the-counter eye drop brands, including those sold under store brands could lead to serious eye infections resulting in vision loss or blindness. The agency is calling for the recall of store brands from CVS Health, Rite Aid,...
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at least 26 over-the-counter eye drop brands, including those sold under store brands could lead to serious eye infections resulting in vision loss or blindness. The agency is calling for the recall of store brands from CVS Health, Rite Aid, Target Up&Up, Leader (Cardinal Health), Rugby (Cardinal Health), and Velocity Pharma.1
This follows an FDA inspection of the manufacturers' facilities, during which it found unsanitary conditions and positive bacterial test results in 'critical drug production areas.'2
While the FDA said that CVS, Rite Aid, Target, and Walmart are removing the products from their store shelves and websites, it warned that brands including Leader, Rugby, and Velocity may still be available in stores and online and should not be purchased.3
Cardinal Health, however, has reportedly said that it's working to 'initiate a recall' of its products Rugby and Leader. It also said it's 'working with Velocity Pharma, the supplier of the impacted eye drop products to gain additional insight regarding the unsanitary conditions.'3
This comes after the FDA earlier this year issued a similar warning regarding several other eye drops due to microbial contamination. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found those, too, led to a risk of vision loss, surgical removal of eyes, and even death.1
Eye drops contaminated with bacteria are linked to at least four deaths and dozens of infections, according to CDC data. Teresa Murray, of the consumer watchdog US PIRG Education Fund, called the FDA warning 'infuriating' because it took too long to recognize a pattern of contamination and because companies have refused to comply with recalls 'in a timely fashion.'4
Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The Conversation. US pharmaceutical companies have for decades outsourced drug manufacturing overseas, leading to challenges in FDA oversight. While foreign inspections have intensified, domestic oversight has waned. This shift, combined with reduced inspections, raises concerns about the quality and safety of common-use drugs available to Americans. The government should have changed course after it recalled 60M Johnson and Johnson vaccines, but since it didn't, hopefully, these latest headlines will bring institutional change.
Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA's job is to do exactly what it did regarding these dangerous eye drops. The agency conducts inspections of medical facilities ranging from drug manufacturers and blood banks to food processing plants and tobacco manufacturers. When companies disregard federal law and put Americans at risk, the agency will be there to uncover such violations, warn the public about them, and hold those responsible to account.