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Fungal meningitis outbreak in the US

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ABOUT MENINGITIS

What is fungal meningitis?

Fungal meningitis is rare and usually the result of spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. Although anyone can get fungal meningitis, people with weak immune systems, like those with AIDS or cancer, are at higher risk.

How did steroids get contaminated?

There are lots of ways fungus could have gotten inside the Mass. compounding pharmacy whose steroid medication has been linked to a lethal outbreak of a rare fungal form of meningitis.
DOCUMENTS

Report: FDA had many complaints on Mass pharm

A report issued by Republicans states that the FDA failed to act on years of complaints about problematic drugs and practices at the New England Compounding Center.

Governor Patrick proposes to hire more pharmacy inspectors

The troubled Department of Public Health would receive an additional $3.1 million in state funding to hire more inspectors to monitor compounding pharmacies and to increase other public safety efforts, under Governor Deval Patrick’s proposed budget.

Pharmacy owners tied to meningitis get high pay

Bankruptcy records show that the owners of the Mass. pharmacy linked to a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed dozens of people pulled millions of dollars out of the company in the last year.

Patrick plans to reorganize pharmacy board

Governor Deval Patrick announced plans to reorganize the board of pharmacy to add professionals from other fields, give the board the authority to regulate out-of-state compounders that distribute in Mass.

Ameridose closure extended

A Westborough drug company with the same owners as the Framingham specialty pharmacy at the center of the national fungal meningitis outbreak will remain closed until at least February 22, public health regulators said Thursday.

Tainted steroids found to cause spinal infections

Meningitis sickened hundreds in late summer and early fall, but a frightening second wave of ­fungal infections was caused by contaminated drugs. Dozens more people have now been diagnosed with excruciating abscesses or inflamed nerves in their backs that are proving formidable to cure.

Pharmacists request changes adopted after meningitis outbreak

Under the new rules, specialty pharmacies similar to the Framingham company whose contaminated drugs are blamed for the outbreak, are required to report to state regulators the volume of medications they are making and whether they have detected contamination in their laboratories.

Drug lab scandal cost soars

The state's public defender agency may need up to $332 million to represent thousands prosecuted with evidence potentially tainted at a now-closed state drug lab. (Globe)
The head of the FDA asked Congress for more authority to police pharmacies like the one that triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak, even as lawmakers questioned why the agency didn’t do more with its existing powers.

Framingham pharmacy co-owner invokes Fifth Amendment rights

Barry Cadden, co-owner of the Framingham compounding pharmacy linked to a national meningitis outbreak, refused to answer questions yesterday at a congressional hearing.

State was lax on drug maker

State pharmacy regulators on at least two occasions in the past decade displayed indifference in their oversight of a troubled Framingham specialty pharmacy that has now been blamed for a national fungal meningitis outbreak, according to documents obtained by the Globe Tuesday. (Boston Globe)

Co-owner of pharmacy was faulted

Years before meningitis outbreak, Barry Cadden was uncooperative with the FDA, congressional staff says.

Massachusetts pharmacy board director fired

The director of the state pharmacy board, James D. Coffey, has been fired for allegedly ignoring a complaint in July that New England Compounding Center was distributing bulk shipments of drugs to hospitals in Colorado, in violation of its state licenses.

Congress subpoenas owner of pharmacy tied to meningitis

Congressional investigators Tuesday subpoenaed Barry Cadden, co-owner of the Framingham pharmacy blamed for the national meningitis outbreak, to answer questions about the crisis in Washington next week.

Framingham pharmacy workers ordered to stop working

Massachusetts regulators have ordered those who worked at the Framingham company to immediately stop working in the drug-compounding industry.

New rules tighten oversight of compounding pharmacies

The Patrick administration Thursday unveiled new emergency regulations to more tightly oversee compounding pharamacies like the Framingham facility linked to the national fungal meningitis outbreak.

Ameridose, sister company to NECC,
recalls all drugs

Ameridose LLC, sister company to the Framingham pharmacy whose drugs have been implicated in hundreds of fungal infections and 29 deaths, issued a recall of all its products Wednesday.

Despite bacteria in labs, clean pharmacy report

Shortly before a national fungal meningitis outbreak was linked to NECC, the Framingham company sent customers a “Quality Assurance Report Card” trumpeting the cleanliness of its labs, even as internal tests showed widespread contamination.
What do you really need to know about the fungal meningitis outbreak? Are you at risk?

MORE NEWS

State shuts down Waltham specialty pharmacy

The pharmacy is similar to the Framingham compounding center tied to a national fungal meningitis outbreak, officials said.

FDA: Mold seen in 83 vials of the steroid linked to fungal meningitis

The US FDA found visible mold inside the Framingham pharmacy at the center of the national fungal meningitis outbreak.

IMPACT

Bankruptcy likely for Framingham firm linked to meningitis infections

New England Compounding Center lawyers say action would stem flow of lawsuits.

Ameridose closure extended

A Westborough pharmacy with the same owners as the Framingham specialty phamacy at the center of the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak will remain closed until at least Nov. 5.

Meningitis victim suing pharmacy

Separate lawsuits seeking a total of $15 million have been filed in Virginia against a Massachusetts pharmacy that is at the center of an outbreak of rare fungal meningitis.

Fungal infection is far-reaching

Fungal meningitis is usually exceedingly difficult to diagnose, and the treatment is risky and arduous.

Officials: Issues with more drugs

Federal health officials said today that people should be warned who got any injectable drugs -- not just steroid injections -- made by a Framingham facility at the center of a meningitis outbreak.

Company linked to meningitis surrenders N.H. license

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney said that New England Compounding Center agreed to surrender its privileges to sell mail-order pharmaceuticals in the Granite State.

BACKGROUND

Fungus in drug vials from Framingham pharmacy matches type in most meningitis patients

Federal regulators said they have confirmed the presence of a fungus in unopened vials of steroids from the troubled Framingham pharmacy at the center of a nationwide meningitis outbreak that matches the type of infection found in most of the sick patients.

Framingham pharmacy identified as possible source of fungal meningitis outbreak blamed for deaths

State and federal health officials have identified a Framingham pharmacy as the source of injectable steroids that may have infected people with a rare form of fungal meningitis.