5:52 PM EST, November 5, 2012
The Indiana Board of Pharmacy has voted to indefinitely suspend the license of a pharmacy tied to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.
Tainted steroid injections produced at the New England Compounding Center have infected 419 people nationwide, including 51 in Indiana. Of that, 30 people have died with four of those cases tied to Indiana.
“The Attorney General’s Office will now move forward with filing a formal complaint with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “The board can then consider the case and determine the most appropriate discipline.”
The victims contracted the deadly but not contagious illness after receiving a spine injection of a preservative-free steroid called methylprednisolone acetate that was contaminated by a fungus. The steroid is used to treat pain and inflammation. It's also sometimes used in epidurals.
About 14,000 patients received epidural injections of methylprednisolone acetate from the affected vials between May 21 and Sept. 26. According to Indiana State Department of Health, there are now 1,502 people in Indiana who have been exposed to the contaminated medication through an epidural or joint injection.
It was recently revealed that two other products produced by the company were also linked to the illnesses.
NECC's sister company, Ameridose, voluntarily recalled all of its products last week.
The Food and Drug Administration has launched a federal investigation into the NECC. The pharmacy has also voluntarily surrendered its license.