So far, 35 people in six states – Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana – have contracted fungal meningitis, and five of them have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All had received steroid shots for back pain, a highly common treatment.
In an alarming indication the outbreak could get a lot bigger, Massachusetts health officials said the pharmacy involved, the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., has recalled three lots consisting of a total of 17,676 single-dose vials of the steroid, preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate.
An unknown number of those vials reached 75 clinics and other facilities in 23 states between July and September, federal health officials said. Several hundred of the vials, maybe more, have been returned unused, one Massachusetts official said.
In Michigan, one can only hope that none of the materials reached here because our Republican state legislature decreed in 1995 that anything approved by the Food and Drug Administration is safe as a matter of law and, thus, there can be no suits against a manufacturer.
Just Saying . . .