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State board bans company linked to fungal meningitis outbreak

The Indiana Board of Pharmacy has revoked the license of a company blamed for a multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak.
Posted on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:05 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — A Massachusetts-based company linked to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak will not be allowed to operate in Indiana for at least seven years.

The Indiana Board of Pharmacy has revoked the license of the New England Compounding Center, the company blamed for distributing tainted back pain medications to 75 clinics in 23 states including Indiana.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office reached a voluntary agreement with the compounding center Friday, Feb. 8, that was approved Monday, Feb. 11, by the state’s pharmacy board at a meeting in Indianapolis.

“Public health and safety is a top priority, and today’s action was a necessary step to ensure this company, which put patients unnecessarily at risk, does not operate within our state’s borders going forward,” Zoeller said in a news release.

More than 700 cases of fungal meningitis and related infections have been reported in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 81 cases and 10 deaths confirmed in Indiana as of Monday, Feb. 11. Three of those fatalities were Elkhart County residents. OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart was among six clinics in the state that received batches of the contaminated drugs.

After seven years have passed, the New England Compounding Center will be able to apply for a new license, but the Indiana Board of Pharmacy would have to approve the application.




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