Here’s what you need to know about which drugs and products are being recalled and what to do if your medication is one of them, according to experts. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company’s shutdown includes closing its Quality activities program that’s connected with over 70 human drugs and 9 veterinary drugs. Analgesics, also known as pain killers, are types of medications used to relieve pain. Some of these drugs can be used to treat pain during medical procedures as well.

  1. These medications can be used to treat and stop ulcers in the stomach, help with bowel syndrome, soften the stool, alleviate constipation, or help with high blood pressure.
  2. In the wake of Akorn’s closure, all its drugs are either in shortage or running into supply problems as other generic manufacturers struggle to fill the gap, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
  3. The government could also provide grants to generic manufacturers that would allow them to update their manufacturing facilities as well as build new facilities that could provide additional capacity.
  4. If there is no similar generic alternative, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss other medication options.

The company, which was founded in 1971 as an eye care products manufacturer, expanded to make a range of drugs such as antibiotics, pain and allergy medicines, and veterinary drugs. Its generic drugs included adenosine, which is a drug for irregular heartbeats, and lorazepam, which is used for anxiety as well as nausea and vomiting in some cancer xcritical courses scam patients. It was the sole supplier of physostigmine, an antidote for overdoses from certain medications, according to a report from the End Drug Shortages Alliance, a group dedicated to preventing drug shortages. “The fundamental problem is the economics of the system,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in late June.

At the same time, generic drugs — which are sold for very low prices — represent only about 20% of drug spending in the U.S. Even with high demand for the products, the low cost of the drugs means generic drugmakers don’t make much money, according to David Gaugh, the interim president and CEO of the AAM. If your pharmacist is unable to find a similar generic medication to the one you are using from another manufacturer, Tsourounis recommends getting in touch with your healthcare provider to discuss if there are any other alternatives available. For human drug products, adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of these products may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax. At the Mayo Clinic, pharmacists scrambled to switch suppliers or figure out a way to get medications that only Akorn produced.

What Should You Do If Your Medication Is on the List?

Unlike brand-name drug companies, he said, generic drugmakers are not protected by patents that allow them to exclusively sell medications for a set period of time. In order for generic drug manufacturing to grow in the U.S., companies need to be paid enough to manufacture the drugs and stay in business. The closure comes amid — and contributed to — an ongoing drug shortage crisis in the U.S. If any of your medications are recalled, experts recommend contacting your pharmacist to see if there are alternative products or suppliers. If there is no similar generic alternative, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss other medication options.

An FDA inspection found that the company did not follow proper protocol to prevent contamination of its products. In December, Intas Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug manufacturer based in India, suspended production after an FDA inspection last year cited numerous quality concerns. The suspension caused a widespread shortage of cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug used for a variety of cancers, including testicular, lung, bladder, cervical and ovarian. In 2021, 78% of the suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients were in China, India and the European Union, according to the FDA.

Which Medications Are Affected By The Recall?

Almost all medications, whether in a bottle or tube, will have a label that specifies the manufacturer. When a company announces a recall, market withdrawal, or safety alert, the FDA posts the company’s announcement as a public service. By Alyssa HuiHui is a health news writer and former TV news reporter. She was the 2020 recipient of the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association Jack Shelley Award. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, skin, eye, and ear infections.

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“The discontinuation of the Quality program means the company will not be able to support or guarantee that the products will meet all intended specifications through the labeled shelf life of the product,” the company said in a news release. Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. The move toward more drug manufacturing abroad is “a big issue of national security,” especially given the xcritical state of international strife, Califf said. Once a pharmaceutical patent expires, generics are allowed on the market, often at a lower price than the brand-name drug.

Antivirals are medications used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. For example, antivirals can treat herpes, chickenpox, or influenza virus. © Copyright 2024 Healthgrades Marketplace, LLC, Patent US Nos. 7,752,060 and 8,719,052. The .gov means it’s official.Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil.

When Akorn shut down after it filed for bankruptcy, it was one of two U.S. suppliers of liquid albuterol, an essential medication hospitals use to treat asthma and RSV in children. These medications can be used to treat psoriasis, red, scaly patches, dry skin on the head or scalp, fungal infections of the nails or toenails, eczema, dry skin, burns, or bites. These medications can be used to treat issues related to the eye, including eye infections, dry eyes, vision loss, glaucoma, and itchy eyes caused by allergies.

Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site. The problems facing the industry now are likely to get worse as more U.S. companies go under. It was one of the most in-demand products for the company, said Mohammed Kabir, who worked as Akorn’s director of formulation development before the company closed.

With Akorn’s closure, the U.S. will be even more dependent on overseas manufacturing. Since most of the drugs being recalled are generics, Tsourounis said that they should still be widely available from other pharmaceutical companies and used by many other patients. All recalled products should be destroyed and distribution and use of any remaining product on the market should be stopped immediately, the company said. Drug companies are not required to disclose exactly which suppliers are making which product as well as the location, said Erin Fox, a pharmacist and professor at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. That means it’s very difficult for the FDA to know which products are made overseas.

In the wake of Akorn’s closure, all its drugs are either in shortage or running into supply problems as other generic manufacturers struggle to fill the gap, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He covers the Food and Drug Administration, with a special focus on Covid vaccines, prescription drug pricing and health care. He previously covered the biotech and pharmaceutical industry with CNBC.