The meningitis outbreak death toll has reached epic proportions. To date, 28 people have died and 356 people have become ill from the contaminated steroid injections. The nation is on high alert and wary of the safety of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Unfortunately, the fears may not be unwarranted. According to this 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.”
The article points to incidents of weevils found floating in vials of heparin, morphine cartridges that contain up to twice the labeled dose, and manufacturing plants with rusty tools and moldy production areas. One manufacturing plant was even found to have a barrel of urine present.
According to the Times article, 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. These manufacturing facilities are subject to rigorous inspections by the federal government, whereas compounding pharmacies are generally overseen by the states.
Four of the manufacturers that received FDA warnings have closed factories or significantly slowed production to fix the deficiencies and problems. The plant closures have contributed to a shortage of critical drugs, and compounding pharmacies have stepped into the gap to fill the need for alternative sources of the pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, several serious health scares have been traced to compounding pharmacies in recent years, including the latest meningitis outbreak, which has been traced to the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
Drug manufacturers 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.