A compounding company in Augusta, Ga., has recalled syringes of the cancer drug Avastin it supplied over five months to physicians treating vision problems after the Food and Drug Administration received word that five patients who received the compounded medication came down with eye infections that could leave them blind.
The FDA announced the recall Thursday after regulators conducted a preliminary inspection of Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy and found "practices at the site that raise concerns about a lack of sterility assurance."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent the FDA reports it had gathered of five patients sickened with endophthalmitis, an infection within the eyeball, after having received an injection in the eye of Avastin repackaged at CSCP.
A company news release said its products were distributed nationwide between Oct. 19 and March 19.
The recall involves a cancer drug that is used off-label in the treatment of severe (or "wet") macular degeneration, a disorder that gradually causes blindness, starting with a loss of central vision. Though the FDA has not approved the marketing of Avastin for macular degeneration, many physicians use it as an alternative to more expensive therapies approved by the FDA, including ranibizumab (marketed as Lucentis) and aflibercept (marketed as Eylea).