Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 23, 2012

Navarro Regional Hospital pulls drugs in voluntary recall

No illnesses reported locally from suspected bad drugs

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Navarro Regional Hospital did not receive any of the suspected contaminated drugs from the New England specialty pharmacy being investigated as part of a national meningitis health scare, and the Corsicana facility has removed all the company’s medications from its shelves, according to hospital spokesperson.

“None of those medications that we had in our inventory were linked to that infection,” according to Anna Paul, spokeswoman for the hospital.

The New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regarding some 35 cases of fungal meningitis among patients who had been given an epidural steroid injection. At least 35 cases have been reported nation-wide, and five people have died.

The cases of fungal meningitis, which is not transmitted from person to person, are suspected to have come from a contaminated drug product. After the outbreak, the company did a voluntary recall of all of its drugs, whether they were linked to the problems or not, according to the FDA.

None of the suspected contaminated drugs were sent to Corsicana.

“Navarro Regional Hospital previously purchased medications from New England Compounding Center. We have pulled those products from our shelves and they are no longer in use at the hospital,” according to a press release from Navarro Regional Hospital.

“The FDA has requested that hospitals notify patients who may have received injectable or ophthalmic medications produced by NECC since May 21, 2012. Navarro Regional Hospital is in the process of identifying patients who need to be notified and we will make those notifications as promptly as possible,” the press release continues.

“The safety of our patients is always a top priority,” the press release states. “We will continue to follow the guidance of the FDA, CDC and other government agencies in responding to the NECC recall.”

Nationally, about 1,300 facilities got drugs from the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass.

“The FDA had recommended that any hospital that had any of the purchased medications from New England Compounding Center to remove them from their shelves, so that’s what we’ve done,” Paul said.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com