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Dallas Hospitals Reassure Patients Meds Are Safe

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Don’t worry. That’s the word from local healthcare officials after the government released a customer list for a pharmaceutical company at the center of a fatal meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections. Two Dallas hospitals were included on the list, which the FDA now admits, was wrong.

“We were very surprised,” says Tammy Cohen, Pharmacy Director of the Baylor Healthcare System, after Our Children’s House at Baylor appeared on the list in error. Cohen says their hospitals haven’t been customers of New England Compounding Company since January.

The recall involved products produced since May– and Baylor hospitals never received any of the tainted steroids. “It was an error, there’s a lot of information going around at this point, I just want to make sure that the patients know, they are safe.”

Children’s Medical Center in Dallas received one drug from the troubled pharmaceutical. It was not the tainted steroid that has sickened more than 300 and has been blamed for 23 deaths. And the one drug they purchased has long since been pulled from their pharmacy shelves, says Children’s spokesperson Laurie Holloway. “Our pharmacists moved like lightning. They fill more than 3 million prescriptions every year. They have to be right and they have to be safe.”

Last month, the company recalled the steroid shots that went to clinics in 23 states. That recall was later expanded to all its products.

Out of what’s being called an ‘abundance of caution’, Children’s Medical Center patients who received another drug manufactured at NECC were contacted. No problems have been reported. Still, Children’s officials were not pleased to have their facility linked in error to tainted drugs– saying their parents have enough worries.

“They care about their children desperately as we care about their children,” says Holloway, “and we need to get to them to say: we do not have that drug, we did not buy that bad drug, and your child is not at risk.”

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