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    In 2012, the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts became responsible for one of the worst corporate crimes in U.S. history. NECC, a compounding pharmacy, is responsible for a fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 that affected hundreds of patients in 20 different states. The result was tragic, with over 700 people contracting fungal meningitis and more than 60 dead.
    Fungal meningitis is the spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. Though some patients have stronger immune systems than others and may require less lengthy treatment, treating fungal meningitis requires high doses of antifungal medications and is usually given in the hospital through an IV.  Symptoms of fungal meningitis include fevers, headaches, a stiff neck, or confusion.
The drug that NECC was compounding that led to the outbreak was MPA (short for methylprednisolone acetate). MPA is used for a variety of different conditions including back pain, slipped discs, and arthritis. MPA works by decreasing your immune system’s reaction to certain conditions, thereby reducing pain and swelling.
Though compounding pharmacies are required by law to follow very stringent sterilization procedures, the NECC did not, which is what led to the outbreak. According to court documents, the employees of NECC were knowingly shipping out medications in unsafe conditions, by neglecting to properly follow sterilization or testing procedures set forth by the U.S. government.
As a result of their conduct, Barry Cadden (owner of NECC) and Glenn Chin (supervising pharmacist of NECC) were indicted on criminal charges in 2014. The indictment charged Cadden and Chin with second degree murder because of “…acting in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood that the natural tendency of their actions would cause death or great bodily harm.” 14 other people associated with NECC were also indicted on charges including racketeering, conspiracy, and mail fraud.
More than 3,000 lawsuits have been filed against NECC as a result of this outbreak. Most of the lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in December of 2014. The NECC has since set up a settlement account to settle the cases against it, which as of March of 2015 totals $210 million.

Recalled & Dangerous Drugs