$100 mln deal agreed over US meningitis outbreak

The owners and insurers of a bankrupt pharmacy at the center of a deadly US meningitis outbreak have reached a tentative agreement to pay more than $100 million to compensate victims, US media reported Tuesday.

The fund will also serve to pay creditors of the New England Compounding Center, whose tainted drugs are blamed for dozens of deaths last year.

"We are working very hard to expedite this process and get money to victims as quickly as possible," bankruptcy trustee Paul Moore, who led the settlement negotiations, told The Boston Globe. "This is a first step, although a significant one."

The deal must first be finalized and approved by the US Bankruptcy Court.

At least 751 people in 20 states contracted fungal meningitis or other infections from steroid injections made by the pharmacy, including 64 people who died.

Victims and their families will likely receive at least tens of thousands of dollars on average under the settlement, according to the Globe. They have until January 15 to file claims with the bankruptcy court.

Authorities investigating the NECC have said that its now defunct facility outside Boston made medications in unsanitary conditions with bacteria and mold so prevalent it could be seen with the naked eye.

The outbreak has led to calls for tighter regulation of the loosely controlled pharmaceutical compounding industry.

Critics say drug manufacturers have found a way to sidestep costly and strict oversight by classifying themselves as pharmacies, which are given freer rein to mix drug compounds for patients.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US meningitis death toll rises to 29: official

Oct 31, 2012

Some 29 people have died from fungal meningitis they contracted after being treated with tainted steroid injections blamed for a growing national outbreak, US health officials said Wednesday.

Senate questions pharmacy boards after outbreak

Nov 19, 2012

(AP)—A Senate committee investigating a deadly outbreak of meningitis wants to know how regulators in all 50 states oversee specialty pharmacies like the one that triggered the illness.

US tainted drug outbreak rises to 185 cases

Oct 12, 2012

The number of people believed to have been sickened by a contaminated drug rose to 185 Friday, but US health officials said the death toll from the rare meningitis outbreak held steady at 14.

US warns meningitis cases could rise

Oct 12, 2012

US authorities have managed to contact most of the thousands of people exposed to the tainted drug blamed for a meningitis outbreak that has killed 14, but warned the number of infections could rise.

Recommended for you

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

8 hours ago

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according ...

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

23 hours ago

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

User comments