Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Morgan Griffith on Tainted Injections

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

Meningitis Victims’ Worries Continue
As you may recall, the President in 2013 signed into law a bill I worked on – the Drug Quality and Security Act – which ensures the safety of compounded drugs, eliminating perceived confusion as to the oversight of pharmacies like the New England Compounding Center (NECC) that worked the system to skirt both Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulations.  Unfortunately, while this law is too late for some, I believe it is helping to save lives by preventing another NECC-type outbreak from occurring.

I bring this law up again because I noticed in the October 30 Roanoke Times an article about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing an update on the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak associated with sterile compounded injections from the NECC.  According to the CDC report, a patient injected with tainted steroids developed fungal meningitis in November 2014, 26 months after having received the injection.  This patient brings the total number of cases to 753.

The Roanoke Times reported, “Some patients of Insight Imaging in Roanoke and New River Valley Surgery Center in Montgomery County received the tainted injections.”  In our region, we are currently aware of 2 deaths and 50 reported cases of fungal meningitis associated with this outbreak.

The CDC did note in its report that while this case seems to be related to the outbreak, “It is unclear whether this late onset case of meningitis is directly attributable to the contaminated steroid injection or arose from an unrelated etiology.”  The CDC urges doctors and patients to continue remaining watchful for symptoms of infection, as “…fungal infections can develop slowly and are difficult to eradicate.”

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671.  To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.  Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Editorial comment: If you're "qualified for Obamacare," don't accept it, Gentle Readers.