The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on October 27, 2023, advising consumers not to purchase or use certain eye drops from various brands, including CVS Health Corp and Cardinal Health. These eye drops have been identified as posing a potential risk of causing eye infections and, in some cases, possible vision loss.
The FDA specifically recommended against the use of 26 over-the-counter eye drop products, which are primarily intended to alleviate symptoms of dry eyes and provide relief from eye irritation.
The affected eye drops are marketed by several well-known brands, including CVS Health, Rite Aid, Cardinal Health, Target’s up & up brand, and Velocity Pharma. The FDA, after its investigations, also called for the recall of all lots of these products due to findings of unsanitary conditions in the manufacturing facility.
The FDA expressed concerns that the use of certain eye care products from these brands could lead to partial vision loss or even blindness. However, it’s worth noting that, as of the time of the announcement, the agency had not received any reports of adverse events or eye infections associated with these products.
In response to the FDA’s warning, CVS, Rite Aid, and Target took immediate action by removing the affected products from their store shelves and websites. The FDA also cautioned against purchasing products branded as Leader, Rugby, and Velocity, which may still be available for purchase in stores and online.
CVS, in particular, stated that it had ceased the sale of all products supplied by Velocity Pharma both in-store and online upon receiving notification from the FDA. The drugstore chain also committed to providing a full refund to customers who return the affected products.
Cardinal Health and Velocity Pharma had not provided an immediate response to requests for comment at the time of the report.
The FDA recommended that consumers properly dispose of these eye drop products and encouraged individuals who exhibit signs or symptoms of an eye infection after using these products to contact their healthcare provider or seek medical attention promptly.
It’s worth noting that the FDA had previously issued warnings to eight companies, including CVS and Walgreens Boots Alliance, earlier in the same month, cautioning against the manufacturing or marketing of unapproved eye products. This highlights the agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and efficacy of over-the-counter eye care products available to the public.