Eye Infections Caused Nationwide Total Recall Of Avastin Syringes

Federal officials warned the nation Thursday about eye infections that sparked the recall of a series of Avastin syringes. Avastin was recalled voluntarily by a Georgia compounding pharmacy company when it was discovered that patients caught the eye infection after using Avastin.

The massive recall involves all sterile products from Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy (CSCP) of Augusta Ga. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the products named in the expanded recall were distributed throughout the nation between October of last year up to the present.

FDA officials told all health care providers to stop using any sterile products distributed by CSCP; the recall includes Avastin and dozens of other products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted the FDA about the eye infection that occurs inside of the eyeball called "endophthalmitis." This type of eye infection resulting from an injection into the eyes can cause permanent loss of vision.

"A compromised sterile product puts patients at risk for serious infections. Health care professionals should ensure that any medicines they administer to patients are obtained from appropriate, reliable sources and are properly administered," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director, FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in a news release.

Avastin is a drug manufactured by Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company and was approved by the FDA to treat cancer but it is also used to treat eye conditions. Pharmacies repackage Avastin to treat an eye condition known as macular degeneration, an eye disorder common among seniors.The drug was repackaged by CSCP as individual-use syringes and labeled as sterile.

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