Published On: 12.18.2014 North Carolina
Drug Maker and Pharmacist Arrested Over Meningitis Outbreak
Employees of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) were arrested this week and charged with second-degree murder in a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed dozens of patients and sickened hundreds more.
The two co-founders and 12 former employees of the compounding company associated with the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak were arrested and face charges ranging from mail fraud to the introduction of adulterated and misbranded drugs using interstate commerce.
The tainted drugs produced at the company’s Massachusetts laboratory are directly linked to the deaths of 64 people, and the sickening of 750. Those sickened suffered significant injuries, the Center for Disease Control stated.
The indictment alleges that NECC workers listed fake patient names on prescriptions, including Big Baby Jesus, Roy Rogers, Michael Jackson and Fat Albert.
The scandal made national news and led to hundreds of civil lawsuits.
Former technicians told 60 Minutes that “the company got greedy and over extended, got sloppy and something happened.”
As a compounding pharmacy, NECC was supposed to fill prescriptions for individual patients. A month before the first death, an employee warned his supervisor, “Something’s going to happen, something’s going to get missed and we’re going to get shut down. We weren’t compounding any more. We were manufacturing.”
NECC has filed a $135 million bankruptcy plan to compensate victims and their families and will be available for distribution to claimants with personal injury or death claims against NECC.
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