Further incidents have been associated with the compounding pharmacy that has, so far, caused 15 deaths from a contaminated medicine. These issues also related to fungal contamination.
In addition to the fungal meningitis issue relating to the steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported on further contamination concerns associated with the same pharmacy in relation to alternative products.
As a result of the ongoing investigation of the NECC, a patient has been identified with possible meningitis. This infection is potentially associated with epidural injection of an additional NECC product: triamcinolone acetonide. This incident has been identified through medical surveillance and reported to FDA.
Triamcinolone acetonide is a type of steroid injectable product made by NECC. The cases of meningitis identified to date have been associated with methylprednisolone acetate, another similar steroid injectable product.
Further to this serious issue, the FDA MedWatch service reprots that two transplant patients with Aspergillus fumigatus infection, who were administered NECC cardioplegic solution during surgery, have been reported to medical authorities.
Investigation of each of these patients is ongoing and the Agency notes that there may be other explanations for their Aspergillus infection. Cardioplegic solution is used to induce cardiac muscle paralysis during open heart surgery to prevent injury to the heart.
Due to the original incident, On October 6, NECC announced a recall of all its products. The full list of recalled products was posted on the FDA website. The FDA had previously issued guidance for medical professionals that all products distributed by NECC should be retained, secured, and withheld from use
As the FDA, together with the Center for Disease Control examines the issue, U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander are leading the investigation into the fungal meningitis scandal, where tens of thousands of vials of a steroid were contaminated and distributed across the U.S.