Press Release
May 24, 2013
Sabrina L. Miller (312) 814-8194

State Public Health Department Investigating Steroid Injection Complications Associated with Tennessee Compounding Pharmacy -
Investigation Ongoing

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating reports of adverse events among patients in Illinois who received injections of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate produced by a Tennessee compounding pharmacy.

IDPH is currently investigating five cases from patients who developed abscesses after receiving injections of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA), an anti-inflammatory steroid used to treat a range of conditions including asthma and allergic reactions. Two patients in North Carolina also have been impacted. All patients received injections of MPA from a shipment that originated from Main Street Family Pharmacy, LLC in Newbern, Tennessee.

All five Illinois cases received injections at the Logan Primary Care clinic in downstate Herrin, located in Williamson County.

IDPH is conducting a joint investigation with the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Tennessee Department of Health.

"The Illinois Department of Public Health continues to work with local and federal officials investigating these adverse events," said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. "Our first priority is to ensure that all products from the Tennessee pharmacy are sequestered and no longer in use, and also to ensure that any others who might have received MPA injections have been contacted."

The Illinois injections occurred between January 3 and February 21, and cases were identified in April and May. Investigation into the cause of the adverse events is ongoing. One report from North Carolina indicates a fungal infection as the cause of an abscess that developed after injection with MPA from the compounding pharmacy. To date, no reports of meningitis or other life-threatening infections have been reported.

Main Street Pharmacy, LLC, has voluntarily initiated a recall of all sterile products, including MPA, in cooperation with state and federal authorities. Main Street Family Pharmacy, LLC, is currently licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which is also investigating.

In an abundance of caution to protect the general public, health officials are encouraging:

  • Facilities to conduct a thorough examination of records from the pharmacy to determine when and where MPA products were shipped. It is known that these products were distributed to facilities in 13 states, including: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
  • A thorough review of the receiving facilities' records to learn which of their patients may have received MPA injections. Health officials will work closely with these facilities to investigate possible adverse events among those patients who received the suspect medication under investigation and to assist with outreach efforts to communicate with other patients.
  • Additional laboratory work to determine the cause or causes of these adverse events.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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