Patients who were diagnosed with meningitis after receiving a steroid injection used to treat back pain.
At least 91 patients in nine states have been sickened due to the meningitis outbreak, with seven deaths being reported.
New England Compounding Center
It has been reported that the outbreak has been tied to a steroid which was custom-made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.
On Sept. 26, New England Compounding Center recalled the custom-made steroid which has been linked to this outbreak of meningitis.
Type of Lawsuit
Patients who were diagnosed with meningitis after receiving a routine steroid injection to treat back pain may have legal recourse.
A 2012 outbreak of meningitis has been linked to a steroid that was custom-made at a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy and believed to have been contaminated by a common fungus which spreads through the air. These types of medications, which are mixed from basic ingredients, can become contaminated if the conditions where they are made are not sterile.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with meningitis after receiving a steroid injection, you may be able to file a legal claim for compensation.
How Could The Steroids Become Contaminated?
When pharmaceutical companies cannot produce enough of a certain drug, they may turn to compounding pharmacies, which make their own medications from ingredients sold in bulk, or from small doses of existing products. Because these products are custom-made, they can easily become contaminated if the area where they are mixed is not kept clean. (For instance, the fungus which has been linked to this meningitis outbreak can spread through the air.) Unlike manufactured drugs, these products do not have to be approved by the FDA.
Steroid Created at New England Pharmacy
The steroid implicated in this meningitis outbreak was developed at a Framingham, Massachusetts-based pharmacy known as the New England Compounding Center. The company has recalled more than 17,600 vials of the drug and is working with regulators to pinpoint the source of the infection. At least 23 states received shipments of the steroid injection, with nine states reporting associated meningitis infections. At least 18 of the reported 91 infections stemmed from Tennessee, where one clinic received the largest shipment of the recalled vials.
Meningitis Not Contagious
The type of meningitis cited in the outbreak is said to be caused by a common fungus found in leaf mold and is not contagious. Meningitis is caused by inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Because meningitis can take up to 28 days to manifest symptoms, the number of cases stemming from this outbreak may continue to climb. It has been reported that the contaminated steroids could affect hundreds or thousands who were injected with a steroid for back pain between July and September.