Indian firm stops production of eye drops linked to death in US

Wednesday 08th February 2023 05:30 EST

After the US health protection agency warned that the eye drops may contain a drug-resistant bacteria that has been connected to instances of irreversible vision loss and one death from a bloodstream infection, a pharmaceutical company in Chennai has stopped producing a line of eye drops for the US market.

Teams from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and State Drug Controller are on their way to the Global Pharma Healthcare plant located about 40 km south of Chennai.

Global Pharma Healthcare's EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops are being tested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared steps to limit imports of the company's goods.

According to the agency "FDA is warning consumers and health care practitioners not to purchase and immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma's Artificial Tears due to potential bacterial contamination. Using contaminated artificial tears increases risk of eye infections that could result in blindness or death."

Global Pharma Healthcare had issued a statement, saying the company "is voluntarily recalling all lots within expiry of their Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, distributed by EzriCare, LLC- and Delsam Pharma, to the consumer level, due to possible contamination".

Doctors around the country have been alerted to an unprecedented outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, affecting at least 55 people across a dozen states, and at least one death, media reported.

So far, at least five of the 11 patients who have had infections directly in their eyes have lost their vision, a CDC spokesperson was quoted as saying by the network.

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