What Causes Impurities to End Up in Pharmaceutical Products?

Recently, two common types of medications were involved in major recalls: blood pressure medications and heartburn medications. Both types of drugs were recalled by their manufacturers due to the presence of potential cancer-causing impurities.

The thought of impurities being in anything you ingest can be disturbing. We’re hardwired to avoid dirty, stagnate water and food that has spoiled. With prescription and over-the-counter drugs, we assume that they’re either sterile or manufactured in facilities with incredibly strict standards, but that’s not always the case. As the recalls of losartan and ranitidine prove, impurities can end up in even some of the biggest name medications.

How does this process occur? It generally happens when drug manufacturers are lax in their manufacturing processes. For example, many drugs are manufactured overseas and then shipped to the U.S. Because of that, those facilities may have little oversight from organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Running a lax facility is often cheaper than running a tightly controlled one, which can put patients at risk.

Another cause is contamination of ingredients used to produce a medication. Even if the manufacturing process meets all standards, contaminants can still be introduced into pharmaceutical products when a single ingredient is compromised or tainted. That can result from environmental causes to improper standards much further up in the manufacturing process when raw ingredients are collected and harvested.

Regardless of the cause of impurities being found in medications, it’s important for victims to get legal representation on their side. If you or someone you love was harmed by a dangerous medication, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.