Tainted drugs not shipped to region facilities

2012-10-25T18:15:00Z 2012-10-25T20:49:05Z Tainted drugs not shipped to region facilitiesVanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the client list of a New England company linked to a tainted batch of injectable steroids that has sickened and killed people across the country.

Some patients who received the recalled methylprednisolone developed fungal meningitis. No tainted batches were sent to Northwest Indiana, but a handful of local health care facilities are listed as clients of the company, New England Compounding Center.

The 109 Indiana clients include Franciscan St. Anthony Health hospital in Crown Point, Advanced Pain Center in the Spine Center in Crown Point, Retina Associates in Merrillville and Munster, The Community Hospital in Munster and Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond.

None of those facilities received tainted batches, so patients there are not affected. 

The Indiana State Department of Health on Thursday reported two additional cases of fungal meningitis linked to injections of a recalled back pain medication, bring the state's total to 43. The number of deaths remains at three, and Elkhart County's health officer has said all three have been linked to that county east of South Bend and bordering Michigan.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Indiana health care facilities that received the recalled drug are Ambulatory Care Center LLC in Evansville, Fort Wayne Physical Medicine in Fort Wayne, OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart, South Bend Clinic in South Bend, Union Hospital in Terre Haute and Wellspring in Columbus.

The State Department of Health stated that patients who have had an injection from a batch of affected methylprednisolone will be contacted by the facility where they received it.

Dr. Albert Tomchaney, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Franciscan Alliance, said no Franciscan Alliance facilities have purchased any methylprednisolone from NECC.

"However, to address drug shortages, some Franciscan Alliance facilities had previously purchased a variety of other NECC products," he said. "Upon receiving notice of the FDA publication on Oct. 5, 2012, we ceased using and quarantined all NECC products. In response to the directive that the FDA has recently published, we are following the FDA directive and notifying patients accordingly."

Community Hospital purchases anti-inflammatory medications from NECC and did not receive any tainted medicine, said Marie Forszt, director of marketing.

A full list of NECC customers is available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/FungalMeningitis/UCM325467.pdf.

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