When we go to the doctor to get treated for an ailment, we certainly hope and have faith that the medicine being distributed to us will make us feel better, and most of all, not be a danger to us. Unfortunately, many people discovered that a steroid injection they received that was meant to relieve pain only made their condition worse – for some, the effects were fatal.
In 2012, 751 victims in over 23 states reportedly received contaminated steroid shots that caused fungal meningitis and will be jointly sharing a settlement of $100 million dollars. Most of these patients were being treated for severe back pain in which they believed the shot would help.
Out of these victims, 64 of them died from shots that were contaminated with mold. Many of these victims lived in Michigan but there were several from other states too, including Tennessee.
The firm responsible for the contamination is Michigan-based New England Compounding Center (NECC). The CDC had traced the contamination to three lots of medication used for epidural steroid injections. The FDA immediately issued a press release warning about sub-standard conditions at the NECC.
Shortly after the outbreak, NECC filed bankruptcy. The company and its owners deny any wrong doing and there have not been any criminal charges at this time.
Lawyers believe money could possibly be distributed to the victims and their families as early as 2015. The terms of the settlement are $50 million to be paid by NECC’s owners, $10 million from the owner’s tax refunds, $25 million from NECC’s insurance companies and $9 million from the sale of Ameridose, a related company.
Due to this horrific outbreak, the Michigan Senate passed two bills labeling compounding pharmacy violations as felonies. It also will increase licensing standards, record keeping and inspection standards for these centers. Similar efforts have been undertaken in Tennessee as well.
We should all have the assurance that when we receive prescription drugs or shots that they are safe for us. However, this is not always the case.
If you or a loved one has experienced any type of illness or wrongful death due to contaminated drugs, please schedule a free consultation with Tennessee’s Gilreath and Associates, and check back with us often for more about this ongoing case.