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Compounder Agrees to Stop Shipping to FL

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Tennessee compounding pharmacy accused of shipping steroids into Florida that caused 13 patients to suffer injection-site infections has agreed not to send any more high-risk products into the state.

If Main Street Family Pharmacy of Newbern, Tenn., violates that voluntary agreement, the Florida Department of Health said in a release, DOH would immediately suspend the pharmacy's license.

Florida has found more reported infections from the Main Street pharmacy than any other state. The total to date is 24, with other cases reported in North Carolina, Illinois and Arkansas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to release an updated case count on Thursday.

None of the infections is reported to be life-threatening; they were localized skin abscesses that formed at the site of the steroid injection, usually the hip.

In a news release, DOH removed one clinic from its list of facilities that received sterile drugs compounded by the Newbern pharmacy: Southern Healthcare Rural Health Clinic of Bonifay.  

That leaves three sites that received the drugs in question, DOH said: Family Health Care of Chipley, The Back Center of Melbourne and Dr. Parvesh Bansal, also of Melbourne. DOH said it is working with the clinics to notify patients of possible exposure.

The drug thought to be responsible for the outbreak is methylprednisolone acetate, or MPA. The same drug was linked to a larger and more serious outbreak last year involving the now-defunct New England Compounding Center.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.