More Drugs From Meningitis Pharmacy Contain Bacteria
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that tests have found certain bacteria in specific lots of medications made at the same compounding pharmacy linked to the ongoing nationwide meningitis outbreak.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that three separate batches of preservative-free betamethasone and one lot of cardioplegia solution made at the New England Compounding Center (NECC) tested positive for bacteria, though the bacteria found in these drugs have rarely been known to cause disease in humans.
Betamethasone is a steroid used to treat joint pain from arthritis; cardioplegia solution is used in open heart surgeries.
The results reinforce the FDA’s concern about the lack of sterility in products produced at NECC’s compounding facility in Massachusetts. Pain shots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate made at the pharmacy and contaminated with fungus have been identified as the cause behind the deadly meningitis outbreak that has infected 404 people from 19 states, killing 29 others, according to the CDC’s figures.
Approximately 14,000 people who received the tainted steroid shots for back or joint pain stand at risk of the infection.