After a deadly multistate outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health departments, to investigate an outbreak involving a rare and incredibly drug-resistant strain of bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The deadly outbreak of Pseudomonas bacterial infections has been linked to EzriCare Artificial Tears and Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops, brands of eye drops sold in stores like Walmart and Amazon, as well as the prescription eye drops, Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution. 0.15% (used to treat glaucoma).
These over-the-counter products, manufactured by the companies Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited, Pharmedica, and Apotex were intended to be sterile; however, when consumers used the contaminated artificial tears, they had an increased risk of eye infections that in some cases led to blindness or, in one case, death. Since then, Global Pharma, Pharmedica, and Apotex have initiated voluntary recalls of all the unexpired lots of eye drops.