FDA finds fungal, bacterial contaminants in Newbern pharmacy’s steroid medicine

Both bacterial and fungal contaminants have been detected in unopened vials of drugs made by Main Street Family Pharmacy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, providing the first direct evidence that the pharmacy is responsible for a new outbreak involving a widely used steroid medication.

So far, methylprednisolone acetate from the Newbern, Tenn., pharmacy has sickened 24 people in Illinois, North Carolina, Florida and Arkansas. This is the same medicine previously made by Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center that has sickened 745 people in the United States with 58 deaths. The most serious consequence of that outbreak, which was first publicly reported on Oct. 1, 2012, have been cases of fungal meningitis.

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