Popular Eye Drops and Ointment Recalled Due to Bacterial Contamination
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recall of EzriCare’s and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Eye Ointment due to potential bacterial contamination. Nearly 60 people have been infected, five have lost their vision, and one person lost their life in this outbreak.
Bailey & Greer, PLLC has all the details of this recall, including what might have happened, what you should do if you use these eye drops, and your next steps if you’ve been injured. We are currently reviewing these cases. With offices in Memphis and Jackson, TN and Little Rock, AR, our product liability lawyers are close by when you need us.
What happened with EzriCare and Delsam eyedrops?
On February 1, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) distributed an emergency health advisory regarding a drug-resistant strain of bacteria:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory about infections with an extensively drug-resistant strain of Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) in 12 states. Most patients reported using artificial tears. Patients reported more than 10 different brands of artificial tears, and some patients used multiple brands. The majority of patients who used artificial tears reported using EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free, over-the-counter product packaged in multidose bottles. CDC laboratory testing identified the presence of the outbreak strain in opened EzriCare bottles with different lot numbers collected from two states. Patients and healthcare providers should immediately discontinue using EzriCare artificial tears pending additional guidance from CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Per AP News, contaminated eyedrops are tied to at least 58 cases (across 13 states) of this bacterial infection, and five of those cases resulted in vision loss. One person died when the infection entered their bloodstream.
Upon the CDC announcement, Global Pharma initiated a voluntary consumer recall of all unexpired lots of their Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops (distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma), noting that “Use of contaminated artificial tears can result in the risk of eye infections that could result in blindness.”
How were the eye drops contaminated?
Consumer Reports states that Global Pharma didn’t “adequately test its products for bacterial contamination and because it packaged the artificial tears in multiple-use bottles without adequate preservatives, in violation of the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.” Multiple-use bottles must be sterile, per FDA regulations.
NBC reports that EzriCare said in a statement that it “had no role in the formulation, packaging delivery system or actual manufacturing of this product,” and that it only designed the packaging and marketed the eye drops. Consumer Reports says a representative for Delsam stated that their products are being recalled “only because we had the same manufacturer.”
Which eye drops and ointments are recalled?
The recalled products are under the brand names EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops and have the following codes on the labels:
- For Ezricare: NDC 79503-0101-15 and UPC 3 79503 10115 7
- Delsam Pharma: NDC 72570-121-15 and UPC 72570-0121-15
All Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointments (NDC 72570-122-35) are recalled as well.
These drops and ointments were sold online nationwide, likely between May 2022 and January 2023, which is when the outbreaks occurred.
What should I do if I have these eye drops or ointments?
Stop using them immediately, but don’t throw out the bottle. Per Consumer Reports:
If you have questions about the recall, contact the two distributors: Call Aru Pharma/EzriCare LLC at 518-738-7602 (Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET) or send an email to
You should also look for the following signs of infection, per the CDC:
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Yellow, clear, or green discharge from the eye
- Redness of the eyelid or eye
- Blurry vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Feeling that something’s in your eye (also called “foreign body sensation”)
If you have any symptoms of an eye infection, seek medical help immediately.
What if I was injured from using these eye drops?
If you used contaminated eye drops and sustained an injury, like loss of vision, you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit. The theory of product liability holds that manufacturers are liable when consumers suffer harm from defective products. In a product liability case, the injured person (or plaintiff) must demonstrate that the product caused their injuries and losses.
Our injury attorneys in Memphis and Little Rock work to prove the following elements of your product liability claim:
- You suffered an injury. You used the eye drops or ointment and suffered a documented injury. You must have sustained an injury to have a personal injury
- The product was defective or dangerous. You must be able to show that the product was defective and that the defect was not obvious to the average consumer. In the case of the eye drops, the defect likely occurred during the manufacturing process.
- The product defect resulted in your injury. The defective product was the proximate cause of your injury – meaning you must be able to link the defective eye drops directly to your injury. Your attorney can do this by showing your medical records and your use of the product.
It is important you keep the bottle of eye drops until after you’ve spoken with one of our attorneys. Product liability cases require proof that you’ve been affected by the dangerous product, which means showing that you have the product in your possession.
The attorneys at Bailey & Greer are uniquely positioned to help victims of bacterial infections and outbreaks. In 2017, we filed several federal lawsuits on behalf of victims of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Memphis. We can help you, too.
If you or a member of your family were injured by EzriCare Artificial Tears or any other defective eye drops or ointments, the attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC want to hear from you. We have offices in Memphis and Little Rock to serve you better. Simply give us a call or fill out our contact form to get started today.
Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
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