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article imageMoney for pharmacy contamination victims

By Tim Sandle     Jan 1, 2014 in Health
The NECC compounding pharmacy at the center of a fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 has agreed to a preliminary settlement that would create a $100 million fund for victims.
Regular readers of the Digital Journal will be aware of the NECC compounding pharmacy and the series of events that led to the biggest case of infected medicines intended to be sterile reaching patients - ever.
In summary: a contaminated steroid product was distributed across 23 U.S. states as a cure for arthritis. Due to various quality control failings the contaminated drug led to over 60 deaths and some 700 people became infected.
The steroid was called methylprednisolone acetate. It was manufactured by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts under the brand name Depo-Medrol (as an injectable syringe). The medicine is used to treat pain and swelling that occurs with arthritis and other joint disorders.
According to the News Channel, the owners of the facility behind the contaminated meds - NECC - has agreed to set up a fund. The fund will provide compensation to those affected and their families. The fund will also be used to pay off creditors of the bankrupt pharmacy. A judge will need to approve the plan before it goes into effect.
In setting up the fund, the owners of NECC have reiterated they deny any liability or wrongdoing. According to the Boston Globe they want to play a major role in establishing a fund for those who died or suffered "as a result of this tragic outbreak.
Commenting on the announcement, Paul Moore, a trustee of the now bankrupt New England Compounding Center, told Big Class Action: "We are pleased that a significant amount of funds will become available for distribution to victims and their families as compensation for the deaths, injuries and suffering they endured as a result of this tragic meningitis outbreak."
The incident, compensation and legal issues have some way to run. In terms of future avoidance of such incidents, in November 2013 President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more regulatory powers over drug compounding pharmacies.
More about Pharmacy, NECC, compounding pharmacy, New england, Drugs
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