CDC warns eyedrops sold by Lakewood company could cause blindness or death

Eyedrops being sold by New Jersey based Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited have been found to be contmaniated with a bacteria that could cause blindness, or worse, death.

The eyedrops marketing as EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears have been linked to several incidents across the country, according to the CDC. The company is based out of the Lakewood Industrial Park in Ocean County.

“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. Patients who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection should talk to their health care provider or seek medical care immediately,” the CDC said.

The drops are manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited, of India.

“The FDA is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments to investigate a multistate outbreak involving a rare, extensively drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria,” the CDC said.

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So far, as of January 31, 2023, the CDC identified 55 patients in 12 states with infections that have been linked by epidemiologic and laboratory evidence to use of EzriCare Artificial Tears.

“Associated adverse events include hospitalization, one death with bloodstream infection, and permanent vision loss from eye infections,” the CDC added.

The CDC advises patients to discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears pending additional guidance from CDC and FDA. If patients were advised to use EzriCare Artificial Tears by their healthcare provider, they should follow up with their healthcare provider for an alternative artificial tears product to use.

“Patients who used EzriCare Artificial Tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection, such as discharge from the eye, eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye or eyelid, feeling of something in the eye, increased sensitivity to light, or blurry vision, should seek timely medical care. At this time, CDC does not recommend testing of patients who have used this product and who are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of infection,” the CDC warned.