FDA: Pharmacy's Other Drugs May Be Causing Illness

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Laboratory technician Ruth Rutledge packages cerebrospinal fluid of the three confirmed meningitis cases in Minn., to send to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing, at the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

Laboratory technician Ruth Rutledge packages cerebrospinal fluid of the three confirmed meningitis cases in Minn., to send to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing, at the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

Health officials have broadened their warning to doctors about other medicines made by a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak.

The Food and Drug Administration took the step Monday because of reports of new illnesses that may be tied to other products made by the same company, the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass.

Now health officials want doctors to contact patients who got any injection made by the company and warn them of the risk of infection.

A steroid made by the pharmacy has been tied to a national outbreak of a rare fungal form of meningitis that has killed 15.

The new reports include meningitis in a patient who got another company steroid and fungal infections in two heart transplant patients.

An outbreak of fungal meningitis has been linked to steroid shots for back pain. The medication, made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, has been recalled.

Latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Illnesses: 214; 212 cases of fungal meningitis, two joint infections.
Deaths: 15
States: 15; Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.


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