Fungal Meningitis Cases Put Spotlight on Compounding Pharmacies

NJ Spotlight News | October 10, 2012 | Health Care
In the wake of a second case of fungal meningitis linked to the potentially contaminated steroid medication, some say changes to regulations may needed in the future regarding use of compounding pharmacies.

By Dari Kotzker
NJ Today

A second case of fungal meningitis linked to the potentially contaminated steroid medication was confirmed today by the New Jersey Department of Health and CDC. Both patients have been admitted to South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Vineland and are being treated with anti-fungal medication. The steroid medication was produced at the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts and approximately 650 New Jersey residents at six facilities throughout the state have been injected with the medication.

“Fortunately, we have contacted every patient who received these injections from one of the three lots … for the most part, the response from the community has been supportive of this challenge because we’re concerned about the anxiety this causes, even those who may not have symptoms but a procedure done with this drug” said Steve Linn, Chief Medical Officer of South Jersey Healthcare.

The use of compounding pharmacies has increased over the years due to drug shortages in the marketplace and back orders. Although they have FDA oversight, some medical professionals say there may need to be changes to regulations in the future.

The Department of Health urges any patients who have been injected with the potentially contaminated steroid medication and are experiencing symptoms, to contact their healthcare provider immediately.

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Related: Health Commissioner Addresses NJ’s First Case of Fungal Meningitis