Pharmacy in Meningitis Outbreak Also Accused in '04

Man died after allegedly tainted shot
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2012 6:45 AM CDT
In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, file photo, a sign requesting "No Soliciting" hangs on the door of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

(Newser) – The compounding pharmacy suspected in the US fungal meningitis outbreak—which has now killed 12 people who are thought to have received tainted steroid injections—was also accused of producing a tainted shot in 2002, the AP reports. New England Compounding Center ultimately settled the lawsuit that was brought after 83-year-old William Koch died in 2004, a year and a half after getting the shot. The lawsuit claimed Koch was infected with bacterial meningitis, a different, more common, and more contagious form of the infection, through the shot. More from the AP:

  • Two of the founders of that pharmacy formed a separate pharmaceutical firm, Ameridose, in 2006—and that company has also been mired in controversy. This summer, it was accused of poor quality-control practices, specifically not separating sterile supplies from non-sterile supplies, that put patients at risk. Ameridose denied the allegations and filed a defamation and slander lawsuit in response, which was settled last month. In the wake of the meningitis outbreak, Ameridose agreed to temporarily shut down yesterday so regulators can carry out inspections, a move officials say is simply a precaution.
  • Also yesterday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said NECC—which has also shut down operations and recalled the tainted drug—may have exceeded the scope of its license by selling large batches of prescriptions; a company spokesperson says the pharmacy is cooperating with investigators.
(Read more meningitis stories.)

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