The life sciences industry has seen a dramatic increase in product recalls, and while insurance capacity for the industry in general has been increasing, insurers have been wary about offering more product recall coverage to the segment.

Executive Summary

The life sciences industry has seen a dramatic increase in product recalls in 2013, which Medmarc's Fran Stockwell attributes in part to companies being more proactive in voluntarily recalling medical devices or drugs in an effort to get ahead of any problems. But the insurance industry has not been as quick or efficient at responding to the need for more coverage.

So far in 2013 there have been 50 medical device recalls (as of Sept. 12) compared to 49 for all of 2012. In 2012, there were 45 pharmaceutical drug recalls in total, but as of Sept. 13 of this year that number had already increased to 48, according to recall information on FDA.gov.

Most recalls are voluntary, meaning the drug and device manufacturers have chosen to take the drug off the shelves, notified consumers and doctors to stop using the product and/or return it, or required that a medical device be inspected to make sure it is safe to continue using.

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