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Poor Sanitation, Licensing Infractions Responsible for 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

April 30, 2015

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More information is beginning to emerge regarding the circumstances that led to a massive fungal meningitis outbreak that occurred several years ago and claimed dozens of lives while leaving hundreds of others sickened. Reports indicate the New England Compounding Center (NECC)—the facility responsible for manufacturing the tainted drugs that spread the disease—repeatedly failed to adhere to sanitation standards during the manufacturing process and blatantly ignored regulations classifying the company as a pharmacy and not a manufacturing facility.

An article released in April 2015 by Newsweek states NECC employees failed to expose the contaminated medication that caused the outbreak to sterilizing steam for a long enough period of time. Contamination was also discovered in supposedly sterile areas of the facility where the drug was manufactured. These factors led steroid injections to become tainted with the fungus responsible for the outbreak.

These issues were only compounded when the NECC bent licensing rules. The company matched names of patients with doses of the drugs after the injections were given so they could sell large quantities of the medication to doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities while only holding a license to fill individual prescriptions.

In the end, 35 people died in the outbreak while more than 300 others fell ill.

Many of those who were sickened or lost loved ones filed suit against the NECC and recently, the company allocated $100 million to be used as compensation for the victims.

If you or a loved one developed fungal meningitis after receiving a tainted injection, you may still be entitled to receive a portion of this fund; however, the process to claim this compensation can be complex. That’s why our Cleveland drug injury lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy encourage you to speak with a legal representative regarding your legal rights. View our Fungal Meningitis Outbreak page for more information.

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