On Monday, October 15, U.S. health regulators announced that two other drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), of Framingham, Massachusetts, may be linked to the meningitis outbreak.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is an ongoing investigation of a patient presenting signs of meningitis, who received an injection for the pain of a different steroid (triamcinolone) than the one found to have caused the 19 deaths. Additionally, the FDA is looking into reports of two transplant patients who have been infected with the same rare fungus that is related to the nationwide meningitis outbreak after receiving a heart drug. According to health authorities, nearly 14,000 people in the country have received injections from potentially contaminated drugs that may be linked to the outbreak. The FDA cautions that any injectable drugs produced by the NECC are of “significant concern.”
On Monday, the state of Tennessee, which has reported 53 cases and six deaths, suspended NECC’s license to operate there. The pharmacy had already surrendered its license to operate in Massachusetts, ceased operations, and recalled all of its products. Earlier this week, a couple filed the first Tennessee lawsuit against the NECC, in which the victim claims that she contracted fungal meningitis after receiving one injection of methylprednisolone for back pain on August 30 at St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center.
The FDA is the primary governmental agency involved in overseeing the introduction and performance of new drugs and medications. In certain circumstances, the FDA may recall a dangerous drug or may require that certain warnings accompany the product. Pursuing litigation against a large drug company requires experience, persistence, and resources. Defective drug cases often involve evaluations of scientific studies and assessments of the pre-market testing and investigation performed by the drug manufacturer. Compounding companies such as NECC present particular concerns since they are not subjected to many of the strict regulations covering large pharmaceutical companies.
Swartz & Swartz, P.C. is committed to the persistent and unrelenting pursuit of drug manufacturers who cause serious injury or death to unsuspecting consumers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dangerous drug and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us; you can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.