WATCH: Meningitis Outbreak Has Pharmacies Under Heavy Scrutiny

4798The death toll from the fungal meningitis outbreak is still growing, with 14 people now dead and more than 130 sick.
Now serious questions are being raised about compounding pharmacies. The industry is responsible for 3 percent of the drugs distributed in the United States.

One of those companies, the New England Compounding Center, is responsible for shipping out thousands of contaminated steroid shots to 23 states.

The shots were used by doctors to treat patients with back pain. Health experts fear that the number of cases will continue to grow because many of the victims may not know they've been infected yet.

"Our earliest estimate was in the range of two to 28 days. Based on the analysis of additional case studies, the more accurate analysis appears to be six to 42 days," James Devita, president of the Massachusetts Pharmacy Board, said.

Meanwhile, NECC has surrendered its license, and a second connected pharmacy has shut down for state and federal inspections.

"Ameridose and its partnering distributor will cease distribution of its material or anything under shared ownership. Period," Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, director of the Mass. Bureau of Healthcare Safety, said.

Drugs dispensed by compound pharmacies are intended to be prescribed to patients with needs that can't be met by already existing medications. This has health officials wondering why thousands of generic steroid shots were shipped out across the country.

Source: CBN News | Andrea Garrett

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