Global Pharma Healthcare, an Indian pharmaceutical company, has voluntarily recalled its Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, marketed under the brand name EzriCare, following 55 reports of bacterial infections in 12 states of the United States. There has been a link between the contamination and the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a form of bacteria that has been shown to be resistant to antibiotics.
The bacterium has already caused the death of one individual after entering their bloodstream. Consumers are advised to cease using the eye drops immediately by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
EzriCare, the distributor of the product, has stated that it had no involvement in the manufacturing, packaging, or delivery of the eye drops. The product was sold nationwide in the USA over the internet, and the majority of affected patients reported using the eye drops prior to becoming ill.
CDC is currently investigating the issue in conjunction with state and local health officials, the Food and Drug Administration, and other relevant agencies. Researchers have discovered the bacterium in the eye drop bottles and are evaluating whether it is the same strain as that found in patients. The contamination may have occurred during the manufacturing process or after the bottles were opened by customers.