State board to vote on pharmacy’s license

The Indiana Board of Pharmacy will consider whether to suspend the license of a Massachusetts company linked to a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak.

Posted on Nov. 3, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Board of Pharmacy is expected to vote Monday whether to suspend the license of a pharmaceutical company connected to a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak.

The board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Monday in Indianapolis to discuss the future of the New England Compounding Center’s presence in the state. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed an emergency petition at the end of October asking the board to remove the Massachusetts company’s license to do business in Indiana.

Cases of fungal meningitis have been confirmed in 19 states after tainted steroid medications were distributed to clinics across the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 404 infections reported nationwide, including 50 in Indiana. Thirty-three of the cases in Indiana are linked to Elkhart County. Infections related to the contaminated drugs have killed 29 people nationwide, three of whom died after receiving injections at OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart. The clinic contacted close to 400 patients after the medications were recalled in September.

The New England Compounding Center has agreed to have its pharmacy license suspended in Indiana, according to the attorney general’s office. If the pharmacy board votes to accept the center’s agreement Monday, the company will no longer be allowed to operate in Indiana. After the vote, the attorney general plans to file a formal complaint with the pharmacy board, which will then decide on disciplinary action against the company.

Seven lawsuits have been filed in Elkhart County by OSMC patients against the pharmaceutical company and its affiliates. OSMC has not been named in any of the lawsuits.

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