The surge in eye drop recalls presents a warning to physicians and consumers alike.
Amid an unusual uptick in eye drop recalls, the FDA recently warned against using specific products containing an unapproved ingredient, MSM, due to bacterial and fungal contamination. Four deaths have been attributed to these recalls, which involve multiple companies. Dr. Benjamin Bert, an ophthalmologist, speaks on the importance of quality control and urges physicians to guide patients in making safer choices.
HCN Medical Memo
This alarming series of recalls serves as an urgent call to educate patients about the risks of purchasing eye care products from unverified sources, particularly online. Physicians should instruct patients to buy only FDA-approved, name-brand products from reputable pharmacies to ensure safety and efficacy. This advisory is especially crucial in light of the four fatalities linked to these recalls.
- FDA Warning: Dr. Berne’s and LightEyez’s MSM eye drops are under FDA warning for bacterial and fungal contamination, as well as for containing the unapproved and illegally marketed ingredient, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).
- Multiple Companies Impacted: Dr. Berne’s Whole Health Products, Global Pharma Healthcare, and Pharmedica USA are among the companies that have recalled eye products.
- Four Deaths Linked: Four deaths have been tied to contaminated eye products, marking an unusual occurrence in the eye care industry.
- Physician Perspectives: Dr. Benjamin Bert notes that while the recalls seem to be individual incidents, some may be influenced by the growing online market, which often bypasses quality control.
“This is something we have not seen—especially to this degree—for quite some time.”
– Benjamin Bert, MD, Ophthalmologist, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, Fountain Valley, CA
- Range of Products: The recalls span from MSM drops to artificial tears and ointments, with cited risks ranging from minor eye irritations to blindness.
- Online Market Concerns: Dr. Bert states that online sales of eye drops make it difficult for the FDA to exercise oversight and protect consumers.
- Still Safe Options: Despite the warnings, name-brand products from well-established companies remain safe, according to Dr. Bert.
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