Over the past few months, several eye drop brands have been recalled due to concerns of severe bacterial infections caused by the products. The consequences of using these contaminated eye drops have been devastating, with some users experiencing blindness or even death. As a result, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers and distributors of the affected eye drops. This blog post takes a closer look at the recalls, legal actions, and what you should do to protect your rights as a consumer.
Read more about recalled eye drops and eye injuries.
A Closer Look at the Eye Drop Recalls: Brands and Risks
In February and March 2023, four brands of eye drops were recalled after links were made to bacterial infections or contamination risks. Here is a detailed overview of each brand and recall:
EzriCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears
India-based Global Pharma Healthcare recalled all lots of EzriCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears in February. These brands were linked to an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a rare, extensively drug-resistant bacteria. Affected consumers experienced infections, permanent vision loss, and death from bloodstream infections. The use of the contaminated eye drops could lead to blindness.
Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment
In late February, Global Pharma also recalled one batch of Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment due to possible microbial contamination. Although no injuries were reported, the use of contaminated ointment can lead to blindness-causing infections.
Apotex Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution
On March 1, Apotex recalled six lots of glaucoma medication Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution due to concerns that cracked bottle caps could compromise the drops’ sterility, leading to infections. No negative health outcomes were reported at the time of the recall.
Pharmedica Purely Soothing MSM Drops
Pharmedica recalled two lots of Purely Soothing MSSM Drops on March 3 due to sterility concerns. No reports of infection or illness were received by the company, but using the contaminated eye drops could lead to blindness.
Legal Actions Taken Against Eye Drop Manufacturers and Distributors
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the companies involved in manufacturing or distributing the recalled eye drops. One such lawsuit was filed by Clara Oliva, a Miami resident who sought accountability after losing her eye and becoming legally blind due to the use of EzriCare Artificial Tears. Oliva’s lawsuit names the following defendants:
- Global Pharma Healthcare Private LTD. (India-based manufacturer)
- EzriCare, LLC (New Jersey-based U.S distributor)
- EZriRx, LLC (Delaware-based U.S distributor)
- Aru Pharma, Inc. (New York-based U.S distributor)
- Leon Medical Centers, LLC (Oliva’s healthcare provider)
- HealthSpring of Florida, Inc. (Oliva’s health insurance plan)
Other lawsuits have been filed, including two federal class action suits in Kentucky and New York. The legal actions taken against these entities include allegations of negligence, breach of expressed warranty, and manufacturing and distributing a contaminated product.
What to Do If You’ve Used Recalled Eye Drops
If you have used any of the recalled eye drops, the CDC and FDA advise you to stop using them immediately, even if you haven’t experienced any adverse reactions. Contact your healthcare provider for an evaluation and discuss potential alternatives for eye drop medications.
Signs and Symptoms of an Eye Infection
Patients who have used recalled eye drops should be vigilant about potential symptoms of eye infections, such as:
- Discharge from the eye
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Feeling something in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
Consult your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
How to Ensure Your Eye Drops are Safe
Though the recent recalls have caused concern, experts assure consumers that most eye drops on the market are generally safe. To protect yourself from potential risks, stick to reputable brands, inquire with your eye doctor about product necessity, and maintain proper hygiene when using eye drops.
Seek Legal Assistance with Alonso Krangle LLP
If you or a loved one has suffered serious health consequences due to the use of recalled eye drops, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced attorneys at Alonso Krangle LLP at (800) 403-6191 for a consultation and to discuss your legal rights and potential next steps.