US officials find new drugs tied to meningitis outbreak
CHICAGO (AFP) - United States (US) health officials identified two new drugs on Monday which may have infected patients with meningitis as they investigate a widening outbreak tied to tainted products from a Massachusetts pharmacy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged doctors to contact patients who received those and other drugs produced by the firm to warn they are at risk of developing the slow-moving but potentially deadly infection.
"At this point in FDA's investigation, the sterility of any injectable drugs... and cardioplegic solutions" produced by the firm are "of significant concern," the FDA said in a statement. Cardioplegia is the deliberate stopping of the heart so as to allow complex heart surgery to be carried out.
The New England Compounding Centre (NECC) recalled all of its products on Oct 6 after dozens of people were infected with meningitis following treatment with its steroid injections.