• Ocala pharmacy blamed for dozens of people suffering vision loss


    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Nearly three dozen people have permanent vision loss, and health officials say the cause is coming from a compounding pharmacy in Ocala.

    Fungus and bacteria were found in two products made by Franck's Compounding Lab.

    The Center for Disease Control says eye drops and injections from the lab caused rare eye infections.

    The products, which were used by eye surgeons, have been recalled, but they were in use for more than a year.

    According to reports from the Center for Disease Control and the Food And Drug Administration, bacteria and fungus were found in unopened bottles and unused syringes.

    Franck's issued a statement saying it has fixed the problem.

    The company says it hired an independent group to investigate and it "successfully determined the root cause of the contamination," but Franck's won't say what it was.

    "Hopefully they take responsibility for what they did," said Marion County resident Ryan Van Wagner.

    In all, people in 15 states were affected.

    In the last three weeks, the company has recalled the two compounds at the root of the problem, but this isn't its first issue.

    In 2009 the company was also found responsible for killing 21 polo ponies in south Florida with another contaminated compound.

    According to a statement, the company "initiated several changes and revisions to its already high standard process, sterile compounding procedures and training."

    The FDA said if the violation is not corrected, the lab could ultimately be shut down, but officials don't suspect it will go that far.

    Anyone who had eye surgery or injections after last August could be at risk of vision loss. For now, doctors have been told not to use Franck's Compounded products.

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