More infections from contaminated eyedrops in US increase death toll
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released updated data regarding contaminated eyedrops. As of May 2023, 81 patients in 18 states have tested positive for VIM-GES-CRPA, a rare strain of drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
In February 2023, 55 reports of eye infections, permanent vision loss and one death led to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a recall for EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears. The FDA then investigated Global Pharma’s manufacturing plant in Chennai city, India, where it discovered several violations.
Some of these violations included failure to provide adequate, tamper-evident packaging, and the distribution of drugs without correct preservatives. The CDC confirmed a matching strain of P. aeruginosa in opened bottles to the one found in specimens taken from patients.
In March 2023 the CDC revealed 68 patients had been infected, eight people had vision loss, four underwent enucleation (surgical removal of the eyeball) and three people had died. As of May 2023, 14 people have suffered vision loss and four people have died.
The CDC recommends purchasers and prescribers of the eye drops to “immediately stop using and discard EzriCare Artifical Tears, Delsam Pharma Artifical Tears and Delsam Pharma Artificial Ointment.” The FDA has asked “health professionals and patients to report adverse events or quality problems with any medicine to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme.”
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