Wednesday, May 29, 2013

13 new illnesses linked to TN drug compounder May 29, 2013 5:45 PM

The number of adverse events suspected of coming from steroid medications from a Tennessee drug compounder has nearly tripled with 13 new cases reported by the Florida Health Department.
In a statement released Wednesday, Florida officials said adverse reactions were limited to skin abscesses and did not involve any life-threatening conditions. The disclosure boosts the total number of cases in the growing cluster to 20, including five in Illinois and two in North Carolina.
According to Florida health officials, the victims were all given intramuscular injections of methylprednisolone acetate shipped from the Main Street Family Pharmacy in Newbern, Tenn. Four Florida facilities received the suspect drugs.
No adverse reactions have been reported in Tennessee, where seven clinics got the drugs. Among them was Axis Medical Clinic in Robertson County.
Dr. Paul Yim, who has been operating the clinic in White House for 15 years, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he is contacting an estimated 200 patients who were injected with the steroids.
“We’ve not had any complaints or reports of infection,” Yim said. “None at all.”
The drug is the same one blamed for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that has taken the lives of 15 Tennessee patients and 55 nationwide. Those tainted spinal steroids were shipped around the country by the now-bankrupt New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
Yim said Axis Medical is contacting any patients who got shots with methylprednisolone acetate over the past six months. He said he has been working with the state health department to collect information on the patients, including their age, the date of the shots and the date of the last visit.
He said Main Street Family Pharmacy was suggested to him by a medical supply firm and he has been buying drugs from the firm for about two years without any problems. He described Main Street sales staff as “pleasant and professional.”

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