As of October 10, a fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a contaminated steroid injection has caused 119 infections and 12 fatalities, spreading to 10 different states. After receiving an injection in their spine of the preservative-free steroid methylprednisolone acetate, which is used for the treatment of pain and inflammation, patients in multiple states contracted a potentially fatal fungal meningitis. The New England Compounding Center (NECC), a Framingham-based specialty pharmacy, has announced a recall for the three lots of the injected steroid, as well as the rest of the products they manufacture as a precaution, though currently there are no signs that other products have been contaminated.
Federal health inspectors investigating an NECC plant found fungus in unopened vials of the steroid on October 1, and the specialty pharmacy has since surrendered its license to operate until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its investigation into the cause of the contamination. Health officials estimate that 13,000 people may have been exposed to the contaminated steroid, and reportedly 76 medical facilities in 23 states received the tainted steroid injection. The FDA is urging consumers, clinics, and doctors to stop use of any product that came from the NECC.
Health officials are urging any patient who received an injection beginning July 1 and experienced symptoms one to three weeks after to seek medical care immediately. Meningitis symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, fever, stiffness of the neck, and confusion, and the earlier a patient receives treatment, the greater one’s chances are for recovery.
Fatalities have tragically occurred in Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, and Michigan, and cases of fungal meningitis have been confirmed in New Jersey, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina.
The pharmaceutical litigation attorneys of Cullan & Cullan, LLC are also physicians, and as such, have a greater understanding of the serious impact a defective drug can have on a patient’s health and well-being. Our experienced legal team has the skills and resources needed to hold negligent drug makers accountable for the harm they’ve caused and obtain the compensation you need to heal. For a complimentary consultation on your case, please call (402) 397-7600 to discuss your potential claim.