Ex-Employees at Drug Firm Say Safety Wasn't a Priority

One pharmacist quit, citing lax quality control
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2012 7:24 AM CDT
This photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Health shows shows vials of the injectable steroid made by the New England Compounding Center implicated in a fungal meningitis outbreak.   (AP Photo/Minnesota Department of Health)

(Newser) – Former employees of the owners of the pharmacy linked to the national meningitis outbreak tell the New York Times that the work culture favored production speed over drug safety. The newspaper talks to eight ex-workers from Ameridose, owned mostly by the same people who run the New England Compounding Center, and five of them offered a litany of complaints, a common one being that unqualified people, sometimes salesmen, helped get drugs ready for shipment.

“I expressed my concern to the management,” says one pharmacist who quit. “I said: ‘This isn’t right. These people don’t even know anything about the drugs.’" The story has quotes of that nature throughout, though three former workers say they saw nothing awry and a company lawyer dismisses the allegations as the grumblings of disgruntled ex-employees. The death toll of the outbreak stands at 14, and the first lawsuit has been filed.

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