NM clinic says it received tainted drug in fed probe

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico health clinic has confirmed that some of its patients received potentially tainted anti-inflammatory injections prepared by a compounding manufacturer in Tennessee, but it says no negative reactions have been reported.

Roswell Family Care said around 50 patients received an injectable steroid involved in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation, the Roswell Daily Record reported. The clinic's nurse practitioner David Aguilar told the newspaper that the clinic has since discontinued use of the medication.

Health officials say the Roswell clinic is the only one in New Mexico to have received the anti-inflammatory medication.

"Everybody is fine," Aguilar said. "There are no cases of infection or reactions in New Mexico."

Methylprednisolone acetate is used to treat inflammation, asthma, joint and upper respiratory issues. It is suspected of killing at least 55 people last year following an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Main Street Family Pharmacy of Newbern, Tenn., shipped the tainted medicine to clinics in 13 states.

The company issued a recall of its entire stock of sterile products manufactured after Dec. 6, 2012, following reports that seven patients in North Carolina and Illinois might have suffered skin abscesses at the site of the injection.

The New Mexico Department of Health said local, state and federal health agencies were cooperating in the investigation.

"We don't know how much (medication) was distributed," agency spokesman David Morgan said Tuesday. "Our folks are in touch today with the clinic. We are seeking out that information about those who might have had the medicine dispensed to them."

The drug was released to 13 states: Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, California, Louisiana and Alabama.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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