Emails Show Company Linked to Meningitis Outbreak Sold Drugs Without Prescriptions

More than a dozen emails from New England Compounding Company (NECC) addressed to NewSouth Neurospine showed that the drug-compounding company solicited bulk orders from physicians for lower costs. However, emails reviewed by Reuter showed that the company did not require proof of individual patient prescriptions from the physicians, which is a violation of the state regulations. NECC supplied drugs to NewSouth, although the clinic claimed they did not receive any contaminated steroid drugs from the Massachusetts-based pharmacy.

The government identified the drug compounding company based in Framingham, Massachusetts as the source of the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak. The specialty pharmacy supplied tainted spinal steroid drugs used by approximately 14,000 patients for the treatment of back pain.

It was also indicated in the emails that the company referred to Ameridose, LLC, but the latter stated that the two companies operated separately despite their common ownership. Both firms were licensed in the business of mixing, diluting and repackaging of drugs not easily available through drug manufacturers. NECC surrendered its license when the meningitis outbreak started, after 15 years of operation. Ameridose, LLC has voluntarily closed for 12 days, although its products were not compromised. Alaunus Pharmaceutical, LLC, another drug company that distributed drugs for Ameridose, LLC, suspended its operations.

The Mississippi Board of Pharmacy in which NECC is licensed, posted on their website the regulations for drug-compounding pharmacies, stating that companies are required to match orders of compounded drugs with individual patient prescriptions. Additionally, the regulations order pharmacists not to promote to their patients that they will compound specific drugs.

Michigan claimed that NECC violated licensing rules, stating that the firm’s pharmacy license did not allow them to supply large quantities of drugs for general use. According to the Michigan Attorney General, NECC officials could be sentenced to imprisonment if the company is found guilty of producing the contaminated spinal steroid drugs linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak.

NECC officials refused to comment on the emails, stating that they were cooperating with agencies, upholding a policy of not commenting while investigation is going on. Moreover, both state and federal regulators refused to comment on whether they knew about the bulk supplies to entities, including the Department of Veteran Affairs.

If you had been injected with the tainted spinal steroid drugs and have contracted fungal meningitis in the process, it is important to seek the legal representation of an experienced New Jersey Injury Lawyer. Scott Grossman has successfully represented many injured clients in central and northern New Jersey for over 10 years. Contact the Grossman Law Firm today at (732) 625-9494.


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