CVS product recalls tied to factories with barefoot workers, bacteria: Bloomberg

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

CVS recalls its generic products far more than its competitors, a trend that coincides with the company’s use of manufacturers whose facilities have been infiltrated with bacteria and whose employees work barefoot, according to a report by Bloomberg.

“Over the last decade, CVS hired at least 15 manufacturers that were cited for manufacturing problems, more than twice as many as its largest rival, Walgreens,” reporters Anna Edney and Peter Robison explained. “This led to 133 recalls of CVS store-brand drugs — an average of more than one a month — in that time frame for both pediatric and adult medications, according to a Bloomberg News review of FDA data.”

Over that same period, Walgreens had 70 recalls, and Walmart had 51, Bloomberg reported.

The Bloomberg report makes the case that these recalls are connected to CVS’s use of manufacturers like Unipharma LLC of Florida, which the FDA determined “had been ignoring test results that showed water used in its drugmaking was contaminated with a bacteria that can be deadly to children with weakened immune systems.”

Another facility, this one in India, was discovered by FDA investigators to have “peeling paint, barefoot workers and fabricated test results that gave the appearance of product safety at the facility.”

“Samples taken at the factory also found bacteria in crucial parts of the production facility,” Edney and Robison reported. “While the FDA had warned consumers not to use certain CVS eye drops on Oct. 27, the drugstore chain still had them for sale two weeks later” when a New York woman who is suing CVS over allegedly tainted eye drops bought them.

Unipharma is now defunct, and the Indian company didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment, but CVS disputed the allegations.

CVS spokesperson Amy Thibault told Bloomberg that “CVS prioritizes ‘good manufacturing and ethical sourcing practices and the ability to meet our strict standards and testing practices.’” 

When replying to the New York woman’s suit, CVS claimed “it isn’t responsible for the manufacturing process or quality control of the factories that make its generic drugs,” Bloomberg said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.