BOSTON — The owners of the compounding pharmacy linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak that has killed dozens and sickened hundreds have agreed to set up a fund of more than $100 million to compensate victims and creditors.
Legal firm Brown Rudnick announced that the owners of the New England Compounding Center had reached a settlement with bankruptcy trustee Paul Moore, its creditors and the victims to set up the fund, money from which will be distributed to creditors as well as victims who received injections of tainted steroids from NECC.
"We are pleased that a significant amount of funds will become available for distribution for victims and their families as compensation for the deaths, injuries and suffering they endured as a result of this tragic meningitis outbreak," Moore said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 people were diagnosed with fungal meningitis linked to the NECC, and 64 people have died. Based in Framingham, Mass., the NECC was involved in sterile compounding of injected drugs. An investigation of the pharmacy in the wake of the meningitis outbreak found widespread contamination and disregard for basic sanitation protocols. Nationwide outrage led to calls for stronger federal oversight over pharmacies that do sterile compounding, and in November, President Barack Obama signed into law the Drug Quality and Security Act, which subjects large-scale sterile compounding to federal regulations, while leaving regulation of non-sterile compounding of medicines for individual patients up to state boards of pharmacy.