Our Boston defective drug attorneys were dismayed to learn that the same pharmacy believed responsible for manufacturing the medicines connected with a national deadly meningitis outbreak may have more dangerous drugs on the market.
NBC News is reporting that at least 10 different kinds of bacteria were detected in a number of drugs produced by the firm, including eight separate lots of a drug used to treat serious itching and and at least two lots of a medication used to slow or stop the heart during surgical procedures.
That doesn’t include the five different kinds of fungi that have been linked to the Framingham pharmacy, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dubbed responsible for the meningitis outbreak. As of Nov. 1, there had been at least 377 identified cases of meningitis stemming from drugs distributed by this facility. Others who had been infected suffered strokes and joint infections, as well. At this point, we understand that 28 people have died.
The FDA has also announced tests are underway on two other drugs produced by the facility, though those results aren’t yet in.
As of now, we aren’t aware of any additional infections as a result of the bacteria newly discovered in these other drugs, but that could because it’s not yet been widely reported or diagnosed.
The facility has been forced to halt operations while the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control continue testing and new cases continue to emerge. However, our understanding is that the fungus and bacteria has been located in unopened bottles, which were still on the shelves as of Nov. 1. That means we’re likely to see even more infections.
What’s especially troubling is that those individuals infected with the fungal meningitis may not immediately test positive, as the lab tests used to detect it are not highly sensitive.
Both Massachusetts and federal inspectors have been conducting simultaneous and ongoing investigations at the site, where they reportedly discovered bacteria and mold throughout its “clean rooms” during the past nine months.
The company’s license to operate has been revoked permanently, and all products and drugs produced by the company have been recalled. Unexpired drugs used by its sister company were also recently recalled, after evidence was discovered indicating sanitation concerns.
In all, the FDA has indicated there are an estimated 14,000 people in nearly two dozen states that received the tainted steroid injections that led to the meningitis infections. Typically, stroke, severe illness or death occurs within the first five to six weeks after injections were received. FDA officials say this means that the danger should mostly have subsided by next week, but those who received the injections should still be on high alert and under close medical supervision.
If you are harmed by dangerous drugs in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Bacteria, more fungi found in drugs from firm tied to meningitis outbreak, Nov. 1, 2012, By JoNel Aleccia, NBC News
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