Overview: The New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, Massachusetts, who manufactured and distributed the tainted steroid injections that caused a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak, has filed for bankruptcy. According to a report in the Washington Post, NECC faces at least 130 lawsuits and many more people claiming injuries from the company’s tainted products.
- NECC has filed for bankruptcy; the company was implicated in the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak caused by tainted steroid injections
- The company said it is facing 130 lawsuit; another 270 people claim that they suffered injuries from the tainted drugs
- The meningitis outbreak is blamed for 39 deaths and 620 illnesses
NECC Files for Bankruptcy
The New England Compounding Center filed for bankruptcy last Friday following fungal meningitis outbreak that has affected people across 23 states. In the filing, the company is facing 130 lawsuits with at least 270 additional people claiming injuries from the tainted products. NECC also said that the number of lawsuits is on the rise, stating “ “The sheer volume and wide geographic distribution of cases — bringing the prospect of chaotic, conflicting and value-destroying pretrial orders and remedies — has necessitated commencing this case at this time.” They said that the goal of filing for bankruptcy was to “provide a greater, quicker, fairer and less expensive payout to its creditors than they could achieve through piecemeal litigation,”
The company also claims to be setting up a victims compensation fund, but some attorneys say that the fund is no guarantee that victims will actually receive compensation. The Washington Post reports that NECC has made it clear that it lacks the financial funds to fully compensate all the victims.
Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
As many as 14,000 people received tainted steroid injections commonly used for back pain, health officials report. In early October, NECC recalled three lots of suspect products. Unfortunately, the recall was too late for a number of people who were killed or injured by fungal meningitis. To date, the tainted injects are said to have killed 39 people and sickened 620 more.
NECC is being charged with violating its state license, which specifies that the company can only make specific products based on individual patient needs. State officials, however say that the company made a large batch of drugs for wide distribution across the United States. Unlike large manufacturers, compounding companies are not subject to usual regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA).