Saturday, 13 October 2012

Company Linked to Meningitis Scare Besieged as deaths Rise

CHICAGO (Reuters) -The company that produced contaminated medications linked to an unprecedented fungal Meningitis outbreak faced mounting scrutiny on Saturday over whether it illegally sold drugs to medical facilities, as the death toll from the disease grew to 15.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said another person died from meningitis, the second death in Indiana. The number of cases of the disease reported reached 201 in 14 states, according to the CDC and state officials.
Illinois reported its first case of meningitis from a steroid injection and New Hampshire officials reported that state's first four confirmed cases from the outbreak, which showed no signs of abating.
Tennessee is the worst affected state with six deaths and 52 cases followed by Michigan with three deaths and 41 cases, including one case of an infection that has not been confirmed as meningitis.
As federal and state authorities scrambled to contain the outbreak, investigators were trying to determine how the medication produced by New England Compounding Center was contaminated and whether its sprawling drug supply business complied with licensing laws.
A series of emails between the company and a clinic in Mississippi reviewed by Reuters show that NECC sold drugs without requiring physicians to supply individual patient prescriptions. The customer confirmed that NECC supplied the clinic with drugs without patient names or prescriptions, which are required by a number of states including Massachusetts, where the company is based.

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