Device recalls fall in Q2, drug recalls rise: 10 report findings

Stericycle ExpertSolutions released its report on U.S. product recalls for the second quarter of this year.

Here are 10 findings from the Q2 2017 Recall Index report.


  1. The pharmaceutical industry saw 86 recalls in the third quarter of this year, marking a 6 percent increase from the previous quarter. This figure represents the most recalls since the third quarter of 2014.

  1. The average recall size was 464,705 — the highest figure seen since the fourth quarter of 2014.

  1. More than 11 million units were classified as a Class 1 recall, the most serious kind, in the second quarter of 2017. This number marks the highest level of Class 1 recalls, which involve products that can cause serious injury or death, seen since 2004.

  1. Subpotent drugs were the main cause for a recall (46.1 percent), followed by superpotent drugs (27.8 percent), failed specs (14 percent) and contamination (6.3 percent). In the first quarter of this year, potency issues were responsible for just 9.1 percent of recalls.

  1. Eighty-six percent of all drug recalls occurred nationwide in the second quarter of 2017.

Medical Devices:

  1. Medical device recalls fell 3 percent from the previous quarter to 275.

  1. The number of recalled units jumped 628 percent to almost 67.6 million in the second quarter of 2017, which surpasses 15 of the last 18 quarters.

  1. A majority of units were recalled over sterility issues (55.7 percent), followed by quality issues (40.1 percent), software issues (1.9 percent) and mislabeling issues (0.6 percent).

  1. Sixty-one percent of medical device recalls were nationwide, and 53 percent included products distributed domestically and internationally.

  1. The average recall size was 245,767 units, which surpasses every full-year average since 2012.

To view the full report, click here.

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