Meningitis Outbreak Spreads, 8 Cases Confirmed in New Jersey

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on October 19, 2012

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of recent meningitis cases caused by contaminated steroid injections has increased to 205, including 15 deaths, as of October 15, 2012. Seven NJ facilities received the potentially contaminated steroids. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported in New Jersey.

A National Public Radio (NPR) commentary on the recent outbreak confirms that federal officials place the total number of potentially infected people at 14,000, not the 13,000 that they originally thought. All of these patients received injections of the potentially contaminated steroids manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC). The majority of these injections were administered to the spine, but there have been two confirmed cases of peripheral joint infections caused by injections into other areas of the body. A fungus called Exserohilum is responsible for causing these cases of meningitis.

Lax oversight for compounding pharmacies has been an ongoing problem and regulatory authority for such pharmacies is out-of-date, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deputy commissioner. Compounding pharmacies are not the neighborhood corner drugstore anymore, but potentially operate on a national scale, warranting stricter regulations and quality control, which currently do not exist.

While more stringent regulations may have prevented the distribution of the potentially contaminated steroids, it is not lax regulations that caused this outbreak, but negligent manufacturing on the part of NECC.

If you have contracted an illness due to a defective or inadequately tested drug in New Jersey, the knowledgeable NJ dangerous drug lawyers at Blume Forte can help you determine the best course of action for your particular potential claim. To find out whether you may have a meritorious claim, call us for a no-cost consultation at (973) 635-5400.

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