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Dietary Supplements Account for over Half of Drug Recalls

May 17, 2013 Drug Injuries, Products Liability

supplements-resized-600By Bruce Kehoe

Would you be surprised if I told you dietary supplements accounted for more than half of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Class I drug recalls between 2004 and 2012?  If so, prepared to be surprised.

From 2004 to 2012, 465 drugs were subjected to a Class I recall in the United States.  Of the 465 drugs recalled, 237 (51%) were dietary supplements.  The “Class I” designation means the contained ingredients within the supplements had a reasonable probability of causing “serious adverse health consequences or death.”  That’s scary.

The FDA does not require approval before supplements can be sold.  The FDA defines a dietary supplement as a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, or amino acids.

The three categories with the highest recall rate were sexual enhancement, bodybuilding, and weigh loss supplements.

Supplement manufacturers are aware that their products do not have to earn FDA approval, but they are also aware of the severe penalties if they market their products containing certain ingredients or make an absolute assertion about what the supplement will do.  You may be familiar with the Airborne lawsuit.  Airborne advertised their product as a way to prevent and treat colds.  Due to a $23.3 million class-action settlement for false advertising, Airborne now simply refers to their product as immune boosters.

Our firm receives FDA alerts about product recalls.  If you’re interested in signing up for the FDA alerts, click here.   If you’ve taken a supplement and you’ve experienced health problems, do your research.  Research the product and the ingredients.

As a personal injury attorney, I feel compelled to give you (the reader) informative information about potentially harmful supplements.  I am an Indiana injury lawyer at Wilson Kehoe Winingham.  We are a personal injury law firm that focuses on cases where people have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another person or company. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a recalled supplement, I’d be more than happy to provide you with a free consultation and discuss your rights.

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