According to the firm – which provides collection, logistic and handling services for drug manufacturers - 86 drug products were withdrawn in the second quarter, a 6% hike on the equivalent period last year.
Some 11.6m of the withdrawn drugs were classified a class I recalls, which is used when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes there is a significant risk of serious adverse consequences or death, which is the highest number of class I recalls since 2004.
Stericycle ExpertSolutions spokesman Michael Good said: “The number of Class I units recalled in Q2 increased nearly 45 thousand times over the previous quarter. That is a tough pill to swallow.”
"Class I is the most critical type of recall, so to see increases across multiple industries where serious adverse consequences or death can occur is certainly concerning" continued Good.
Around 74% of withdrawn products were recalled due to potency issues, either subpotency or superpotency, compared to 9.1% in Q1 2017.
The average recall size was 464,705 units – the highest level since Q4 2014 and third highest since Q4 2011.