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From pleco I see that both 回收 and 收回 might be appropriate. Using google I found:

過期藥品回收站 this seems to be the place to give back expired medicine

上海市食品药品监督管理局收回药品GMP证书公告

If I understand correctly the second one is about recalling the permit for some medications. Should I use the second one, when referring to medicine that doctors are no longer allowed to prescribe?

Should I write:

你知道政府每年收回多少藥品嗎?

3 Answers 3

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回收 means recycle, things have nothing wrong, they just become old or outdated so they are recycled (to make new stuffs).

收回 means take back.

召回 means recall, products shouldn't exist in the market because of flaws, the producer want them back so that no further disasters will happen.

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你知道政府每年收回多少藥品嗎?

It is acceptable to use either 收回 or 回收 when you use it as a verb for " recall" like your third example sentence

If you meant to say "revoke" like your second example sentence "上海市食品药品监督管理局收回(revoke) 药品GMP证书公告", then you can only use 收回 because 回收 doesn't contain this meaning

  • 收回= (v) take back/ recall/ revoke

  • 回收= (v) recall/ retrieve ; (adj) recalled

If you wrote "你知道政府每年销毁多少回收藥品嗎?" , "回收" would be an adjective, and it shouldn't be replaced by "收回"

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Maybe 召回 fits your purpose:

含有苯丙醇胺成分的药品都被召回了。 Drugs containing phenylpropanolamine are being recalled.

回收 has a meaning 'recycle', which is not what you are doing with the disqualified drugs.

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