For the past month, health clinics and medical care centers in 23 states have been dealing with contaminated steroid injections that have lead to a fungal meningitis outbreak. To date, 28 people have died as a result of these injections that had been used by physicians and health care providers in treating back pain, and there have been at least 363 additional non-fatal cases of illness reported in 23 states.
In all, approximately 75 clinics in those states were the recipients of these shots that originated at the New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts,which was the subject of a recent raid by the FBI. Now, the Food and Drug Administration has urged the NECC’s founders to voluntarily recall all of its products from their other pharmaceutical company, Ameridose.
According to WANE in Indiana, the FDA informed Barry Cadden and Greg Conigliaro, the co-founders of both NECC and Ameridose, that they need to improve their sterility efforts at the latter facility, which prompted this additional recall. As part of the NECC’s cooperation with the FDA’s investigation, Ameridose was also shut down for inspection. The company’s officials claim the recall was issued simply “out of an abundance of caution.”
On Monday, the 28th fatality linked to this outbreak was reported, as Rhode Island became the 19th state to register a death from these injections. As of now, there have been no deaths reported in just 4 of the 23 states, as California, Connecticut, Nevada and West Virginia have only reported non-fatal illnesses associated with the NECC products. Of the states that have reported fatalities, Tennessee has 11, Michigan has 7, Florida and Indiana each have 3, Texas has 2, and Maryland and North Carolina each have 1.
The FDA has also determined based on NECC documentation that there were “dozens of mold and bacteria cases growing in rooms that were supposed to be sterile,” according to Fox News. It is still unknown whether or not the pharmacy’s management took the proper steps in correcting those cases.