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Local clinic handles drug scare

May 29, 2013 • Local News


Roswell Family Care on North Main Street contacted all patients who received a drug suspected [auth] of causing a health scare in North Carolina and Illinois. All patients reported no reactions. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)

A local health clinic that received the only New Mexico batch of an anti-inflammatory medication suspected of causing a health scare in other states cleared all patients who received the medication and found none had suffered adverse reactions, clinic officials confirmed Tuesday.

Roswell Family Care on North Main Street contacted all 53 patients who received an injectable steroid involved in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation and have discontinued use of the medication, according to certified nurse practitioner David Aguilar.

“Everybody is fine,” Aguilar said. “There are no cases of infection or reactions in New Mexico.”

The drug used to treat inflammation, asthma, allergic reactions, joint and upper respiratory issues was produced by Main Street Family Pharmacy in Newbern, Tenn.

The company issued a recall of its entire stock of sterile products manufactured after Dec. 6, 2012, following reports that seven patients in North Carolina and Illinois may have suffered skin abscesses at the site of the injection. Main Street is now undergoing a federal investigation into its manufacturing processes.

The New Mexico Department of Health said local, state and federal health agencies were cooperating in the investigation.

“We don’t know how much (medication) was distributed,” said NMDH public information officer David Morgan, Tuesday. “Our folks are in touch today with the clinic. We are seeking out that information about those who might have had the medicine dispensed to them.”

The drug was released to 13 states—Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, California, Louisiana and Alabama.

Earlier news reports written by Albuquerque-area news agencies linked the medication given to the Roswell clinic to a drug that was suspected of killing at least 55 people last year following an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Although the drug methylprednisolone acetate was the same medication involved, it was not made, compounded or distributed by the same manufacturer. Last year’s investigation implicated New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. Several other steroids and two local anesthetics and other medications made by NECC were later recalled by the FDA during the investigation.

The current FDA investigation includes only one case that “appears to be fungal in nature,” according to an FDA notice.

“An investigation into the exact source of these adverse events is still ongoing, but these cases are associated with a potentially contaminated medication,” according to the notice.

The FDA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the investigation to review sterile practices at Main Street.

Any Roswell Family Care patients with concerns can call 575-622-5705.

The FDA encourages health care providers and consumers to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of any Main Street products to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm

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