Friday, November 2, 2012

Pharmacy responds to drug contamination situation


TEAM EFFORT: MGH Pharmacy staff members


MGH pharmacists and technicians have been working round the clock to produce parenteral opioids to offset the impact of the precautionary suspension of operations and the recall of all medications from Ameridose, a pharmaceutical facility in Westborough that provides a number of common drugs to the MGH. 

“October is American Pharmacist Month, and this is an example of how dedicated our staff members are,” says Meg Clapp, RPh, chief pharmacy officer. “We are grateful to everyone in manufacturing and sterile processing for their hard work.”

Ameridose voluntarily closed after certain drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which is run by the same company, were found to be contaminated. Although investigations are ongoing, no drugs from Ameridose appear to be affected, and the company’s recall was conducted as a cautionary measure. 

The MGH has sent letters and emails and set up a website to inform patients, families and staff that the hospital has never purchased or used the injectable epidural steroid methylprednisolone acetate from the NECC, which has been linked to cases of fungal meningitis across the country. Additional drugs under some question include cardioplegic solution from the NECC, which the MGH did purchase and use. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that no infection has been definitively linked to this particular medication. MGH patients who received cardioplegic solution from the NECC also have been notified.

A multidisciplinary team of MGH experts continues to monitor the situation. For the latest news and information, visit  

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