Response to meningitis associated with compounded methylprednisolone

Please read the messages below from Rowell Daniels, director of Pharmacy, and Dr. David Weber, UNC Health Care Associate Chief of Staff, regarding the meningitis outbreak due to contaminated steroid injections. Note that UNC Health Care's pharmacy DOES NOT purchase compounded medications from the recalled product supplier.

A message from Drs. David Weber and Charles van der Horst
UNC Health Care has not purchased any products (including incriminated lots) from this compounding pharmacy, although other healthcare providers in NC have used the product and providers at UNC may either see patients who have received the recalled lots or be asked to provide a medical evaluation of injected patients.

Symptoms that should prompt evaluation for meningitis and/or spinal infection include: fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, new weakness or numbness, increased pain at the injection site (or back), or redness or swelling of the injection site. View the full message.

A message from Rowell Daniels, PharmD, MS, director of Pharmacy for UNC Hospitals and Clinics
The Department of Pharmacy at UNC Hospitals has received a number of questions regarding the recent reports of fungal meningitis from a compounded methylprednisolone acetate product. The recalled product was compounded and distributed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts.

UNC Hospitals' Department of Pharmacy DOES NOT purchase compounded medications from NECC.

All methylprednisolone products procured by the UNC Hospitals Department of Pharmacy are from the original manufacturer via our wholesaler, Amerisource Bergen.  Any clinics who receive medications from our internal process will also receive only manufacturer prepared vials. There have been no reported cases of meningitis related to manufactured vials. All of the reports have been associated with the NECC compounded product from post-manufactured vials.

The recall applies to the following product:

  • Methylprednisolone acetate preservative free 80mg/mL compounded by New England Compounding Center; lot numbers: 05212012@68, 06292012@26, and 08102012@51. Further details are available at this link.

For additional information please contact the UNC Hospitals Department of Pharmacy Drug Information Center at 919-966-2373.