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Newbern Pharmacy Investigated for Potentially Contaminated Medications

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

NEWBERN, Tenn. - The FDA is investigating West Main Street Family Pharmacy in Dyer County after seven people received steroid shots and had adverse reactions. The FDA said one of steroid recipients may have a fungal infection.

The FDA said after last years deadly meningitis outbreak, they have been cracking down on pharmacies, especially compound pharmacies like the West Main Street Family Pharmacy. Compound pharmacies make custom medications at doctor's requests.

Kathy Sisk said after she heard the news she felt hesitant coming into the pharmacy.

"I've heard all about the outbreak that they had. It kinda shocked me cause I didn't know it was right here in this little small town," she said.

The potentially contaminated injections contain methylprednisolene acetate. MPA is the same drug responsible for last years fungal meningitis outbreak that claimed the lives of 55 people and sent another 740 to the hospital.

Dorman Beard lives in Dyer County and said he does not want anyone else hurt.

"If it's that serious which apparently it is, they should probably shut this store down," he said.

The Main Street Family Pharmacy said it is 'fully supportive and compliant with the FDA's current investigation'. They said 'in the pharmacy's 17 years of operation, patient safety has always been and will always be Main Street Family Pharmacy's top priority.'

The Tennessee Department of Health and Board of Pharmacy began the investigation May 22. They said in the past, this same pharmacy has been issued citations and has also been fined.

Sisk said this makes her think twice about where she goes for her medicine.

"It's kind of really mind boggling," she said.

The West Main Street Family Pharmacy said the exact source of the drug that caused the adverse side effects is inconclusive. The pharmacy has volunteered to recall all sterile compound products out of an abundance of caution.

The investigation being conducted by the CDC, FDA and several other state departments says at this time they are unsure how many people may have been injected with the potentially contaminated vials.