A person’s eyes might be the most valuable while also being the most vulnerable sensory organ. Excellent sight is fragile, and without proper care, it quickly deteriorates. Natural tears are a big component of eye healthcare. Since natural tears are often unavailable, millions of people rely upon artificial tears (eye drops) from companies like EzriCare, Apotex Corp, and Pharmedica USA. When product demand is high, manufacturers often take shortcuts to meet demand and make as much money as possible.
All too often, however, these large pharmaceutical, device, and product companies take shortcuts that lead to unintended consequences for unsuspecting customers who then become victims. When manufacturers take shortcuts that hurt people, the strong-willed Baltimore eye drop lawyers at The Yost Legal Group stand up for victims and their families.
Recalled Eye Drops
- Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops distributed by EzriCare, LLC and DELSAM Pharma.
- On February 2, 2023, the FDA issued a warning not to use EzriCare Artificial Tears because of potential bacterial contamination. The over-the-counter product was associated with severe eye infections in 55 patients, including one death. The infections were caused by a drug-resistant bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
- Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%. distributed by Apotex Corp.
- On March 1, 2023, Apotex Corp. initiated a voluntary recall for six lots of Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution due to cracks in the caps. The prescription drops are used for patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. No infections have been associated with the product.
- Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops distributed by Pharmedica USA.
- On March 3, the FDA announced that Pharmedica USA was voluntarily recalling two lots of Purely Soothing Drops. This over-the-counter product is being recalled due to non-sterility. There have not been reports of illness or infection related to the product, yet.
Regulators believe that unsafe EzriCare eye drops caused an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a rare bacterial infection that is resistant to most antibiotics, in a dozen states.
Though rare in the wild, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common surgical infection. Patients who use catheters, are on ventilators, or are recovering from serious burns are among the most at-risk groups.
The strain linked to EzriCare eye drops, Verona integron-mediated metallo-β-lactamase and Guiana extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (VIM-GES-CRPA), is new to the United States. But the infection itself is not new. These infections affect tens of thousands of Americans and kill thousands each year. Even when avoiding death, serious effects include pneumonia (lung infections) and sepsis (blood infection or blood poisoning).
These infections, which are also common among medical tourism patients from Mexico, start quickly, spread rapidly, and end slowly. Other symptoms include ear discharge, skin rashes, bloodshot eyes, digestive issues, congestion, and urinary tract issues. Since most antibiotics do not affect Pseudomonas aeruginosa, these patients usually require IV medications in hospitals.
In the United States, a hospital stay costs about $3,000 a day on average. If doctors must use high doses of expensive medications, the bills could be much higher. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious eye infection (notably Pseudomonas aeruginosa) after using EzriCare eye drops, the experienced eye drop attorneys at The Yost Legal Group will fight to get you the compensation and justice you deserve.
Defective Medical Products
Federal regulators can pressure companies to voluntarily recall dangerous medical products. These recalls help keep bacterial infections from spreading. But these recalls do nothing to compensate the victims of these defective products. Under Maryland law, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. The underlying problem could be:
- Design Defect: As mentioned, the eyes are very delicate organs. Eye drops and other products must have the right balance of ingredients to provide healthcare without causing unwanted side effects.
- Manufacturing Defect: Regulators believe that Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited, EzriCare’s manufacturer, used cheap ingredients and tools (shortcuts) during the shipping and storage process.
Compensation in a defective medical device case usually includes monetary recovery for economic losses, such as medical bills and time missed from work, as well as non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Furthermore, punitive damages (punishing the offending party) are often available in these matters, as well. In our long history (over 30 years) of serving victims of large pharmaceutical corporations, we have found that manufacturers often know about the risks associated with their processes. But they ignore those risks and hide evidence so product sales will not be adversely affected. In other words: Profits over people.
Legal Representation for Defective Eye Drop Victims
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a defective eye drop or been diagnosed with a serious infection related to the use of a defective eye drop, contact The Yost Legal Group right away: 1-800-967-8529.
There is no time to delay. Serious infections related to defective eye drops can lead to lifelong suffering or even death. For 30-plus years, we have worked hard to get our clients the best representation and justice they deserve. Free consultations are available now.