Board Votes to Indefinitely Suspend Massachusetts Based Pharmacy
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Board of Pharmacy today voted to indefinitely suspend the license of the Massachusetts pharmacy connected to the meningitis outbreak.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office recently filed an emergency petition asking the board to suspend the license of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) which is based in Framingham, Mass. The company responded last week and agreed to the suspension. The board voted 7-0 today on the agreement for indefinite summary suspension during its scheduled meeting in Indianapolis.
“The Attorney General’s Office will now move forward with filing a formal complaint with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy,” Zoeller said. “The board can then consider the case and determine the most appropriate discipline.”
On Monday, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirmed 51 cases of fungal meningitis and four deaths in the state stemming from a tainted steroid injection produced by NECC. As a licensed non-resident pharmacy whose products are distributed and sold in Indiana, NECC is legally responsible for the “proper and safe storage and distribution of drugs and devices.”
According to ISDH, there are now 1,502 people in Indiana who have been exposed to the contaminated medication through an epidural or joint injection. Patients exposed in Indiana have been contacted by their healthcare provider.
In September, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration identified the NECC as the compounding pharmacy that produced the epidural steroid injections that caused the onset of meningitis in certain patients. Shortly after, NECC ceased production and initiated a recall of the drugs.
As of Nov. 5, the CDC had indentified 404 cases of fungal meningitis and 29 deaths across 19 states stemming from NECC’s tainted steroid injections. The cause of contamination of the steroid injections is still under investigation.