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Compounding Company under Fire for Meningitis Outbreak

Written by Ankin Law Office

The nationwide meningitis outbreak continues to expand in scope. To date, 424 people have been sickened by contaminated steroid shots distributed by New England Compounding Company (NECC) and 31 deaths have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cases of meningitis have been reported in 19 states, including Illinois. The other affected states include: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Now members of Congress are calling for an investigation of NECC. According to the Associated Press, a subpoena has been issued for Barry Cadden, the director of NECC, after he indicated that he would not voluntarily attend a congressional hearing scheduled for November 14th.

NECC has been the subject of a congressional investigation since the meningitis outbreak first broke out in October. Hearings have been scheduled for the week of November 12th in order to look at how the meningitis outbreak occurred and how similar contamination problems can be prevented in the future.

As we recently reported, contamination problems like those at NECC are not isolated incidents. In fact, according to a New York Times article, “contamination and shoddy practices extend well beyond the loosely regulated compounding pharmacies that have attracted attention because of their link to an outbreak of meningitis.”

In the past three years, six of the major manufacturers of sterile injectable drugs have been issued warnings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about serious violations of manufacturing rules, says that the Times article. These manufacturing facilities are subject to rigorous inspections by the federal government, whereas compounding pharmacies are generally overseen by the states.

NECC has discontinued operations and recalled all of their products. The pharmacy licenses of Barry Cadden and two other NECC pharmacists were revoked last month by state officials after inspectors found unsterile conditions at its facilities.

Drug manufacturers, including compounding companies like NECC, have an obligation to ensure that the drugs they are manufacturing are safe. When a user of an unsafe pharmaceutical drug is injured as a result of taking the drug, he or she may be entitled to compensation for injuries suffered in a personal injury or product liability lawsuit.

The Chicago unsafe pharmaceutical attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC have considerable experience representing clients in a wide variety of personal injury and product liability lawsuits, including class actions and lawsuits based on unsafe pharmaceutical drugs. Contact the skilled Chicago unsafe pharmaceutical drug law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to discuss a possible personal injury or product liability lawsuit.

Categories: Product Liability