On Monday, May 22nd, the FDA issued a warning for drug manufacturers regarding the contamination risk posed by Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC). According to FDA’s warning, “BCC and other water-borne opportunistic pathogens are among the contaminants that can be found in pharmaceutical water systems.” As such, BCC contamination has been the cause of numerous recalls regarding non-sterile water-based drug products.
Exposure to BBC can increase a person’s risk of illness or infection, especially if the individual suffers from a compromised immune system. Because of this, it is extremely important that BBC contamination be identified and corrected as soon as possible. However, “BCC can survive or multiply in a variety of non-sterile and water-based products because it is resistant to certain preservatives and antimicrobial agents.” Furthermore, detecting the bacteria is very difficult, often requiring the use of validated testing methods that consider the unique characteristics of different strains of BBC.
In an attempt to reduce the occurrence of BBC contamination, FDA’s warning provides a number of reminders and recommendations for drug makers consider during the manufacturing process. For details on FDA’s recommendations, view the Agency’s recent announcement.
FDA is asking individuals who experience adverse events or quality problems while using any non-sterile water-based drug product to submit a report to the MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. Adverse events may be reported in the following ways:
- Complete and submit the report online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm; or
- Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.