Victims of the 2012 fatal fungal meningitis outbreak caused by tainted steroid injections will receive compensation from a $200 million settlement. Judge Henry J. Boroff of the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts recently approved the $200 million settlement funded in part by the liquidated assets of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the compounding pharmacy that produced the contaminated injections, their insurers, as well as the owner/co-founder and the lead pharmacist, both of whom have also been charged with multiple counts of 2nd degree murder.
At least 76 people died and more than 750 were sickened with fungal meningitis in 2012 from tainted steroid injections made by the NECC, a compounding pharmacy that mixes, combines or alters ingredients to make drugs to meet the specific needs of individual patients. People in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia died after receiving steroid injections, primarily for the treatment of back pain, and many of the victims who survived now live with permanent injuries and life-long medical problems.
Over 3500 claims have been filed and attorneys advise victims should receive their portion of the settlement monies by year’s end.
The tainted steroids were not discovered until patients started dying and becoming critically ill, this due in part to the fact that the FDA has no regulatory power over compounding pharmacies and, as such, compounded drugs do not undergo the same rigorous testing and approval processes as other drugs. We call on Congress to close this loophole and grant the FDA the authority it needs to regulate compounded drugs and their manufacturers in order to keep American patients safe from harm from the drugs they choose to take to improve their physical and mental well-being.