FDA microbiologists testify during trial on 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak: 5 updates

Various FDA microbiologists testified during the trial of Barry Cadden, former pharmacist and owner of Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center, which is now closed, for his involvement in deaths related to a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, according to The Tennessean.

Here are five updates:

1. Seventy-six people died from the outbreak which was linked to the drug, a compounded drug dubbed preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, that New England Compounding Center supplied.

2. The microbiologists said they found yeast, mold and bacteria in various drugs New England Compounding Center shipped to healthcare facilities throughout the U.S. Some of the detected bacteria were potentially deadly.

3. One FDA official working in the New York location said she tested 78 methylprednisolone acetate vials that NECC shipped to Nashville, Tenn.-based Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center. Of those vials, 48 were contaminated — 28 showed yeast and 19 showed mold.

4. An FDA official from the San Francisco office testified that he tested cardioplegia vials NECC sent to Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2012. The vials contained bacteria brevibacillus choshinensis. The official referred to the bacteria's potential effects as "deadly."

5. The San Francisco official testified the company shipped five vials of betamethasone to an Indiana clinic that contained bacteria that would potentially harm patients with a compromised immune system.
Click here to read more on the trial.

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