A clinic in Alabama received and possibly administered a steroid injection manufactured by Main Street Pharmacy of Newbern, Tenn., that has been tied to complications, including at least one fungal infection. The injection, a formulation of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA), is used to treat back, neck and joint pain, and is the same type of steroid shot that a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy manufactured that was tied to more than 741 fungal infections including fungal meningitis, and 55 deaths.
Main Street has since ordered a recall of all its sterile products following an inspection of its site. The inspection was initiated after reports of adverse reactions, including at least one fungal infection. The drug was sent to medical facilities in 13 states, including one in Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has joined other local, state and federal health agencies in an investigation of products from the compounding pharmacy, and currently patients who have been exposed to the steroid injection are being contacted.
“This investigation is still very early and rapidly evolving,” the Alabama Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The multistate fungal meningitis outbreak has raised concerns about how compounding pharmacies are inspected. Currently they are overseen by state pharmacy boards; however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing federal oversight for compounding pharmacies that mass produce products and ship them across state lines.
Currently, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against New England Compounding Center (NECC), the pharmacy at the center of the multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak. The company has ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.