Torrent Pharmaceuticals' expanded recall of some lots of losartan potassium has generated a blizzard of correspondence for people using losartan — first one letter from the dispensing pharmacy, then another as the recall expanded, and even communication from insurers. Each letter urges the recipient to check the NDC and Lot numbers of already prescribed losartan for possible recalled product. One of these letters is several pages long and none are particularly brief.
Is it realistic to expect an American consumer using losartan to take responsibility for keeping track of all the recalled and expanded recalled lots? Shouldn't the manufacturer, relevant PBM, and dispensing pharmacy be able to identify the group of consumers sold these lots? Or, is this like the Takeda airbag recall, so expansive that eventually (over a period of a few years), it seemed like most cars in America were in recall?
The FDA, it turns out, leaves it to individual pharmacies or pharmacy chains to — in great part — determine how they will get the recall information out to their customers once they have received word from the FDA. Perusing the websites of both Walgreens and CVS, it seems they both rely on a general written notice advising the patient to garner the label information necessary to determine if they are targeted.
The problem with this is that none of these letters offer what I think would be most useful: a mark up of a CVS or Walgreens prescription drug dispensing label with markers for where to find the the NDC number and the lot number.
Why make this so hard? After all, who has the best information on which product, NDC, and lot numbers were dispensed to whom?