NORTH ADAMS -- Contaminated medicine being linked to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak involving seven states wasn’t purchased or distributed by North Adams Regional Hospital, hospital officials said Friday afternoon.
Hospital Spokesman Paul Hopkins said that injectable steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, was never purchased by the hospital from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.
"There is no need for patients to be concerned. The medication has never been in use here," he said.
However, any patients with questions or concerns may contact the hospital’s patient liaison, Paula Markland, at 413-664-5240, he said.
According to a health advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are coordinating a multi-state investigation of fungal meningitis involving patients who were injected with preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate prepared by the New England Compounding Center, which is used for treating back pain.
Fungus has been found in at least one sealed vial of the steroid at the company’s facility by health inspectors. The steroid was distributed to 75 clinics in 23 states. As of Friday evening, 47 cases believed to he linked to the tainted medication had been reported in the states of Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana and Michigan, and five people had died from the
Darlene Blanchette, director of quality and risk management at North Adams Regional Hospital, said the hospital did purchase two medications, which aren’t related to the recall, from the New England Compounding Center.
It has since discontinued their use until further notice as a precaution, she said. The medicines were a topical gel to numb a site before starting an intravenous fluid drip and another was for nausea, she said.
In general, the hospital always uses reputable, FDA-approved vendors, she said.
"When the medications arrive, we monitor them for the correct color, and make sure the expiration dates are within the limits," she said.
To reach Meghan Foley, email