Drug Regulation and Recalls
Though the pharmaceutical industry is an integral part of the country today, that has not always been the case. Although medical professionals and various types of cures existed in the early years of the United States, the drugs used for treatment were not processed in huge sterile factories like they are today.
The history of drug production in the country has a checkered past. In addition to the prescription drugs meted out by doctors and other medical professionals, over-the-counter medications are huge business. In both areas of drug production, there have been mistakes leading to recalls of the products. In some cases, the companies even sent out the bottles knowing that the product was inferior in some way because it was cheaper than throwing the contaminated batch away.
The history of drug recalls extends back to when the US started regulating industries. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, there was no need for this kind of oversight. However, as more and more men were drawn away from their homes and into industrial production jobs, that began to change. Over time a wide range of rules has been established in order to keep workers safer and to help ensure that the products ending up in consumer’s hands are accurately labeled and safe.
The severity of the consequences for breaking these rules can vary from mild to fatal. In regards to the drug industry, this could mean stomach cramps for a few hours or death by poison. As such, the industry is expected to respond quickly to ensure that consumers are informed and products recalled that have been deemed unsafe.
Though this is an excellent idea many people today have trouble keeping up with the recalls that happen virtually every day. Some big box retailers have a place where you can view the products they carried that have been recalled. However, a much better alternative is to visit the government website that lists all of the products that are on recall lists.
By doing this on a regular basis, you can find out if anything specifically related to your household has been placed on the list. Remember that even over-the-counter drugs are subject to recall.
One of the most well-known recalls in the history of the United States relates to the Tylenol scare in the early 1980’s. Several people died in the incident that inspired drug manufacturers to start sealing the bottles for greater protection. Other industries followed suit in an effort to avoid their products being contaminated by a rouge.
More recently a drug for children was recalled after it was discovered to contain the incorrect amount of the active ingredient. Between these incidents have been many other cases where people became ill as a result of ingesting a product that they believed to be safe. No matter how much regulation and oversight involved in production there will inevitably further recalls in the future for pharmaceuticals at the store and from your doctor.