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December 1, 1951

LACK OF STERILITY OF EYE MEDICAMENTS

Author Affiliations

667 Madison Ave., New York 21.

2 E. 95th St., New York 28.

JAMA. 1951;147(14):1381. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670310071029

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —There is no specific governmental regulation concerning the sterility of eye medicaments. Neither of the official compendia regulating the practice of pharmacy mentions the subject. As a result, even large pharmaceutical companies, supplying widely used and valuable drugs, dispensed on prescription in their original containers, are not required to adhere to any official standard procedure to insure sterility. If an individual retail pharmacist prepares a contaminated solution, since the drug is generally used by the patient immediately after preparation, the concentration of organisms is low and may not cause infection. Even if an infection does occur, the incident, while unfortunate, is limited to the one patient and generally is traced quickly to its source. However, when a large manufacturer releases an infected batch of a compound, which may number thousands of units, the situation may become disastrous before the shipment is recalled. During the long time interval

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