Pharmacy: Cleaners should share blame for meningitis outbreak
Bottles containing injectable steroids distributed by the New England Compounding Center, suspected in a meningitis outbreak.
January 4th, 2013
03:49 PM ET

Pharmacy: Cleaners should share blame for meningitis outbreak

A Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak says its cleaning contractor should share blame for an apparent mishap that left dozens dead nationwide.

The New England Compounding Center sent a letter to UniFirst Corp. demanding it share responsibility for a tainted steroid used to treat pain and inflammation, according to a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said that it "seeks to establish a fund to compensate individuals and families affected" by the outbreak, which has been linked to 39 fatalities among the 656 cases tallied in 19 states.

Patients contracted fungal meningitis after their spines were injected with a contaminated steroid called methylprednisolone acetate, health officials have said. According to health agencies, the compounding center did not follow proper sterilization procedures and distributed its products without knowing whether they had passed sterility tests.

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Filed under: Health • Massachusetts
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Pass the buck.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Clean doesn't mean sterile.
    If I were bottling stuff to inject into folks' spines, I wouldn't call a housekeeping service and tell them to wipe the tables every night.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      oh lawdy...history has been made...the one time i agree withew whole heartly!

      January 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I agree, JIF...somehow a little light housekeeping doesn't seem sufficient...

      January 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    "distributed its products without knowing whether they had passed sterility tests.'
    As a last defense against unclean instruments, you would think a checks and balances system be in place and practiced with out fail.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bleeding Heart (std. short form)

    My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You should, you lack empathy if you didn't.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dazzle ©

    I am calling BS on this. Blame the cleaning crew, please.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dazzle ©

    I used proper spelling but yet my post was deleted. Perhaps the use of the term "BS" is not PC.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dazzle ©

    The disappearing posts are aggravating.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dazzle ©

    Of course they left the one where I complained. I'm sure that will be gone too. I saw yours RR before they deleted it.

    January 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    You should have made that your New Year's resolution.
    Baby steps, I guess.

    January 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Portland tony

    Some folks who espouse smaller government would tell you: We don't need a FDA to inspect these companies. ..."If you are dissatisfied with the product, simply don't use it anymore"

    January 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    What if its a mandated vacine that was supposedly FDA approved?

    January 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Let the buyer beware?

      January 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    And it caused harm to your child. Whos responsible then?

    January 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    The buyer of pharmaceuticals is your doctor. By the time you suffer the long term effects, it's too late to beware.
    We should be made aware of exactly what goes-in to our meds...what am I saying? This too will be deleted.

    January 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      My point exactly!

      January 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    Let the buyer beware? I just said its a mandated vacine! That you are REQUIRED by law to have done! How can the buyer beware?

    January 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    And i get you on this @ Philip even if this gets deleted i saw you post it twice.And @ PT, if the government is going to mandate that children be innoculated with these vacines they dayum well should have a better system in place to make certain they are safe!!!!

    January 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
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