meningitis

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A proposed fund to compensate victims of a nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts company that killed 64 people has been increased by about $35 million.

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POMONA – The Rockland County Department of Health announced on Monday an investigation into the death from Meningitis of a 12-year-old Rockland girl who attended St. Gregory’s School. Officials explained preventative measures and means to reach out to those who might have been exposed.

“I want to stress that we are responding, and we are responding quickly and appropriately,” Rockland Commissioner of Health Kathy Henry said.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A bankruptcy court judge has ordered the homes of the owners of a Massachusetts pharmacy seized as they face lawsuits related to a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

The homes' combined value was estimated at about $21 million at the time of the January order, filed with the court Wednesday.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — An attorney says a Massachusetts pharmacy blamed for a nationwide meningitis outbreak paid out more than $70 million to its owners and their other companies in the last six years.

Creditors' attorney David Molton made the disclosure Thursday at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing. At the hearing, Judge Henry Boroff gave a committee of creditors the right to seek a freeze on the New England Compounding Center's assets.

Molton had argued the company had a history of removing its assets.

Republicans in the state Legislature in Massachusetts are calling for the departure of JudyAnn Bigby, the state's health and human services secretary.

In a letter sent on Thursday to Gov. Deval Patrick, House Republicans cited "poor management" in the aftermath of two recent crises: The alleged tampering with drug tests at a former Department of Public Health lab, and a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a Framingham compounding pharmacy that was regulated by the state.

A government watchdog group is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to re-inspect more than a dozen specialty pharmacies with prior records of violations, in light of a recent deadly outbreak tied to compounded drugs.

Contaminated pain injections from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy have been blamed for fungal meningitis that has killed 36 people and sickened more than 500, according to federal health officials.

Company Linked to Meningitis Illness Denies Claims

Nov 20, 2012
Stephan Savoia

  A Massachusetts company has denied negligence in connection with a steroid linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that has claimed 34 lives nationwide.

New England Compounding Pharmacy filed documents Monday in response to a federal lawsuit in Minnesota. Barbe Puro claims she suffered emotional distress after receiving a steroid that may have been contaminated.

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby says state overseers and the managers of a compounding pharmacy bear responsibility for a fatal, nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

Bigby told state lawmakers Wednesday that the Framingham-based New England Compounding Center, which distributed a contaminated steroid that has sickened about 440 people and led to more than 30 deaths, knowingly disregarded sterility tests and prepared medicine in unsanitary conditions.

The head of the Massachusetts health department says investigators still don't know why regulators backed off a severe penalty against a pharmacy now implicated in a deadly meningitis outbreak.

In 2004, after product safety and sterility problems at the New England Compounding Center, the state's pharmacy board proposed an official reprimand and three years' probation for the New England Compounding Center.

The company protested, saying it could destroy the business. In 2006, the board entered into a more lenient, non-disciplinary agreement with NECC.

A Massachusetts company with the same founders as a pharmacy tied to a deadly meningitis outbreak says it's laying off nearly all its employees amid its prolonged closure for inspection. WAMC's Ian Pickus has more..

Ameridose employees were notified of the layoffs Thursday.

A company spokesman says the notice affects 650 employees at Ameridose and 140 employees at its marketing and support arm. He says a small number will be retained amid an ongoing product recall. Ameridose LLC says it hopes the layoffs will be temporary.

A company with the same founders as a specialty pharmacy tied to a deadly meningitis outbreak has agreed to extend its voluntary closure until Nov. 19.

Ameridose shut down for inspection Oct. 10 amid a growing outbreak linked to a tainted steroid made by the New England Compounding Center. Ameridose and NECC have the same founders, Barry Cadden and Greg Conigliaro, though Cadden has since resigned from Ameridose.

A company with the same founders as the specialty pharmacy linked to deadly meningitis outbreak says it's recalling all its products.

In a statement Wednesday, Ameridose said the voluntary recall comes after FDA officials told the company it must improve its sterility testing. The Westborough company says it has no reports of problems with its products, or any impurities, but issued the recall "out of an abundance of caution."

The company did not say how many products it is recalling.

Yesterday, Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and the state Department of Public Health released more details of their investigation into the compounding pharmacy at the heart of a meningitis outbreak that has sickened more than 300 people.  WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Since injectable steroids manufactured and distributed by New England Compound Center in Framingham Massachusetts were discovered to be the cause of an outbreak of fungal meningitis, the Commonwealth has launched an investigation with Federal officials on the incident.

Massachusetts state officials say they found unclean conditions including visible black specks of fungus in steroids made by a pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of meningitis.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday the state has moved to revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center and three pharmacists.

State officials say a preliminary investigation found drugs were sent out before tests results on their sterility could be returned and a leaking boiler was located near a company clean room.

A pharmacy with the same owners as a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy at the center of a fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed 21 people has agreed to remain closed until at least Nov. 5.

Ameridose had agreed to a request from state regulators to temporarily shut down so it could be inspected. It was scheduled to reopen Monday.

The Board of Registration in Pharmacy said in a letter Friday to Ameridose's lawyer that it needs the extension to conduct "a comprehensive investigation of facility operations."

According to the New Yrok Times, the virus was first discovered in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, but wasn’t common in the West until an outbreak was found in Brazil last May.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated drugs manufactured by a Massachusetts company has claimed the lives of at least 14 people. Now federal and state officials are investigating but groups are calling for more action. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Long before the current rash of fungal meningitis, the compounding pharmacy suspected in the outbreak settled a lawsuit alleging it produced a tainted shot that caused a man's death in 2004.

Officials have identified Framingham, Mass., based-New England Compounding Center as the source of steroid shots suspected in the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis that has killed at least 12 people and made more than 130 others sick in 10 states.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says the specialty pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak may have misled regulators and done work beyond the scope of its state license.

The New England Compounding Center in Framingham made a steroid that was used in contaminated injections that have sickened more than 130 people in 10 states. Twelve have died.

Patrick told reporters Wednesday that state and federal agencies "may have been misled by some of the information we were given."