October 16, 2012 in Health, Nation/World

Infections spur wider drug warning

 

NEW YORK – Two more drugs from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak are now being investigated, U.S. health officials said, as they urged doctors to contact patients who got any kind of injection from the company.

The New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., has been under scrutiny since last month, when a rare fungal form of meningitis was linked to its steroid shots used mostly for back pain.

Monday’s step by the Food and Drug Administration followed reports of three new infections. One is a report of a possible meningitis illness in a patient who got a spine injection of another type of steroid made by the company. The agency also learned of two heart transplant patients who got fungal infections after being given a third company product during surgery.

The illnesses are under investigation, and it’s very possible the heart patients were infected by another source, FDA officials cautioned. They did not say whether the meningitis case involved a fungal infection or where the three infections occurred.

The FDA on Monday expanded its advice to doctors to contact all patients who got any injection made by the company, including steroids and drugs used in eye surgery as well as heart operations.


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