There are new reports of illness related to injected steroids, this time traced back to a compounding pharmacy in Tennessee. An outbreak that originated with the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts last year sickened hundreds and killed 55 people, including 15 Tennesseans.
This is exactly the same drug – methylprednisolone acetate. It’s free of preservatives, meaning it can’t last as long on the shelf without going bad.
At this point, federal health officials have discovered seven patients who’ve fallen ill, though no cases of meningitis or what investigators call “life-threatening infections.” The illnesses were found in North Carolina and Illinois, but the drugs were shipped to 13 states including Tennessee. Patients who received spinal injections are being notified.
The company that produced the drugs is Main Street Family Pharmacy in the West Tennessee town of Newbern. It is licensed as a wholesaler and manufacturer of compounded medicine.
The pharmacy is cooperating and has voluntarily issued a recall. The Tennessee Department of Health says the pharmacy was already on probation as the result of a recent inspection.