Investigators visit Mass. firm in meningitis case

October 17, 2012

(AP)—Criminal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration have visited a Massachusetts company whose steroid medication has been linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.

FDA spokesman Steven Immergut said Tuesday the agents' work at the New England Compounding Center is part of the investigation into the outbreak, which has killed at least 15 people and sickened more than 200 others in 15 states. Nearly all the victims had received for back pain.

Company attorney Paul Cirel says it's "difficult to understand the purpose" of the FDA search. He says the company has been clear it would voluntarily provide anything investigators requested. He says the company will continue to cooperate.

Federal and state investigators say they've found in more than 50 vials from the company but haven't said whether they've pinpointed the contamination source.

Explore further: Experts list many ways funguses can taint drugs

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(AP)—Health providers scrambled to notify patients in nearly two dozen U.S. states that the steroid injections they received for back pain may have been contaminated with a deadly fungal meningitis. Five people have died.

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