The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning regarding over two dozen over-the-counter eye-drop products. These products, marketed under various brands including CVS Health Corp., Target Corp., and Rite Aid Corp., pose a risk of eye infections that could potentially lead to partial vision loss or even blindness.

FDA Urges Consumers Not to Buy or Use These Products

The FDA strongly advises against purchasing or using these eye-drop products. The affected products include lubricating and dry-eye relief drops sold under the Velocity Pharma brand, as well as Cardinal Health Inc.'s Rugby and Leader labels. Additionally, CVS Health, Rite Aid, and Target Up&Up brands are also included in the warning.

Unsanitary Conditions and Bacterial Contamination Detected

The FDA's investigation revealed unsanitary conditions at the manufacturing facility responsible for these products. Bacteria were found in critical areas involved in drug production. As a result, the FDA recommended a recall of all lots of the affected products from the manufacturer.

Ongoing Concerns About Eye Product Safety

This latest FDA warning is part of a series of eye-product safety issues raised throughout the year. In a recent warning, both CVS and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. were informed about marketing unapproved eye products. The FDA has also expressed concerns about the manufacturing practices of contract manufacturers producing these products. Earlier this year, several other brands issued recalls for batches of eye drops due to potential infections. The CDC and FDA have previously investigated a multi-state outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria linked to artificial tears products.

Increased Scrutiny in Manufacturing Processes

While the FDA did not specify the bacteria found in this latest warning, the severity of previous outbreaks has prompted the agency to increase scrutiny on eye-drop manufacturing. Patricia Jackson, President of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, emphasized the FDA's proactive approach in visiting manufacturing sites and testing products. Unfortunately, during these inspections, additional brands with potential contamination have been identified.

As the FDA continues to address these concerns, it is crucial for consumers to be aware of the risks associated with using these eye-drop products. If you have purchased any of the affected brands, it is highly recommended to stop using them immediately.

Eye Products Pose Potential Risk to Consumers

According to market research firm Statista, approximately 120 million people in the U.S. rely on eye drops or eye wash for various purposes. However, the FDA has recently raised concerns about the safety of these products, as they can bypass the body’s natural defenses and pose a particular risk to users.

Proper Disposal of Affected Eye Products

In light of these concerns, the FDA strongly advises consumers to properly dispose of any affected eye products. One recommended method is to drop them off at a designated drug take-back location. By doing so, individuals can help prevent potential harm and minimize the risk of eye infections.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

To ensure prompt treatment, the FDA urges individuals who experience symptoms of an eye infection after using any of these products to seek medical care immediately. Common symptoms include eye pain, light sensitivity, sudden blurred vision, redness, discharge, and swelling.

No Reports of Eye Infections

Although the FDA has issued a warning regarding the potential risk of eye infections from these products, it is important to note that no reports of such infections have been received thus far. Nevertheless, the agency is taking precautionary measures to ensure public safety and is collaborating with various stakeholders on this matter.

Retailers Taking Action

Leading retailers like CVS, Target, and Rite Aid have taken swift action in response to the FDA's warning. They have removed the affected eye products from their retail stores and websites, prioritizing consumer safety.

Cardinal Health's Commitment to Public Health

Cardinal Health, a key player in the healthcare industry, has expressed its commitment to public health by placing all affected eye drop products on hold in its inventory upon FDA notification of the infection risk. The company has also engaged with the supplier, Velocity Pharma, and is actively working with both the supplier and FDA to initiate a recall. Cardinal Health aims to safeguard public health and safety by taking swift action and addressing the unsanitary manufacturing conditions identified by the FDA.

Collaboration and Cooperation

CVS Health has halted the sale of all CVS Health brand eye products supplied by Velocity Pharma, both in-store and online, following the FDA's warning. Customers who have purchased these products are encouraged to return them for a full refund. CVS Health is fully cooperating with the FDA throughout this process to ensure consumer well-being.

Rite Aid's Response

Rite Aid has also responded promptly to the FDA warning by removing all affected Rite Aid branded eye products from store shelves. By doing so, Rite Aid prioritizes the safety and satisfaction of their customers.

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