Two more drugs could be linked to meningitis outbreak - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Two more drugs could be linked to meningitis outbreak

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(10/15/12) - Two more drugs from The New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts are being investigated after more than a dozen people have died from meningitis that's linked to contaminated shots manufactured at the pharmacy.

One involves another type of steroid, the other a drug given to a heart transplant patient. There are a total of 46 cases in Michigan related to the outbreak.

Three people have died including a 56-year-old Genesee County woman. A fourth woman died in Michigan but received a tainted shot in Indiana.

ABC12 News spoke with a Mid-Michigan pharmacist who specializes in compounding prescriptions.

Compounding Pharmacist Michael Collins didn't waste any time addressing the multi state fungal meningitis outbreak that's linked to tainted steroid shots from a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. "I can't speak for what they did wrong, but all I can tell you is that there are thousands of compounding pharmacies working hard every day to save people's lives."

Collins has been in practice for 30 years. After realizing a need for customized medication, he expanded his operation. Even becoming PCAB accredited. "We have special training that we go to, I send my team of technicians to learn how best to keep their technique, upgrade with new equipment and supplies and to really test our abilities we became accredited."

Collins said Healthway Compounding Pharmacy never buys chemicals from overseas and has several extra layers of protection for patients and staff.

"We can buy from China on the Web, but I refuse to. We do a lot of in house testing and sending out to a third party to make sure what we create is good. The best we can do is create systems and put hose in place, train our people right to make sure we limit those mistakes." 

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