FDA Chastised For Failing to Go After New England Compounding Center Years Before the Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

Republicans and Democrats in the US House say that the US Food and Drug Administration failed to better police compounding pharmacies prior to the deadly meningitis outbreak that killed over 50 people and afflicted more than 700 others with the virus, spinal infections, joint infections, stroke, and other health issues. Many of the victims still don’t know if they will ever fully recover, and their medical bills have been racking up in the tens of thousands of dollars. The approximately 17,000 tainted vials of methylprednisolone acetate came from the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which is located in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Already, dozens of products liability, drug injury, wrongful death, and dangerous drug lawsuits have been filed by victims and their families seeking to recover compensation for their health issues or the deaths of loved ones. In Massachusetts, contact our Boston personal injury lawyers at Altman & Altman to find out if you have grounds for a case. In addition to drug defect claims, you also may have reason to pursue medical malpractice damages from the doctor and/or medical facility that administered the contaminated steroid injections.

According to lawmakers, the FDA should have been doing more to police compounding pharmacies, including shutting down the NECC before the outbreak happened. Reportedly, it had received numerous complaints from hospitals, patients, doctors, anonymous whistleblowers, and state pharmacy regulators about the pharmacy over a nearly 10-year period.

Compounding Pharmacies
These pharmacies take doctors’ prescriptions to blend customized medications. These drugs are usually not FDA-approved. While it is usually the job of state pharmacy boards to regulate these businesses, the FDA has been trying to police the larger compounding pharmacies, which are more like manufacturers that mass produce drugs and then send them to different states. Following the agency’s recent inspections of approximately 30 compounding pharmacies, inspectors reported seeing possible safety violations, including mold and rust in rooms that were supposed to be sterile.

Lawmakers say FDA fell short in policing pharmacy, Boston.com, April 16, 2013

Pharmacy Compounding, FDA

More Blog Posts:
Woburn, MA Compounding Pharmacy Recalls Drugs After Regulators Find “Foreign Matter” in Vials, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 13, 2013

Framingham, Massachusetts Compounding Pharmacy Linked to Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Had Settled Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Similar Allegations in 2007, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 12, 2012

Update on Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Framingham, MA Distributer, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, April 5, 2013

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