FDA Steps Up Advice on Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

This week, the Food and Drug Administration urged all medical providers to evaluate all patients to whom they administered injectable products produced by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass.

This includes either ophthalmic drugs produced by NECC after May 21, 2012, that were injected or used in conjunction with eye surgery, or NECC’s cardioplegic solution, which is used during heart surgery.

The FDA does not recommend patient follow-up at this time for NECC topical products (lotions, creams, and eye drops not used in surgery) or suppositories. The FDA says these products present a “lower risk” to patients.

The Mass. Department of Public Health has created a letter that physicians can use when contacting their patients who may have received an NECC medication. Download the letter: Word document or PDF format.

The FDA notice on Monday was the first urging providers to evaluate their patients proactively. On Oct. 6, all NECC products were recalled, and providers were ordered to stop using them.

As of 2:00 p.m. on October 17, there were no reported illnesses in Massachusetts related to NECC products, and no facilities in Massachusetts that received the products. Nationwide, there have been 247 cases reported, with 19 deaths.

Complete FDA Statement (Updated October 16, 2012)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Updates and resources

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