NECC surrenders license, meningitis outbreak grows

Posted: 10/09/12 at 12:35 pm EDT      Last Updated: 10/09/12 at 11:16 pm EDT

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (WHDH) -- The deadly meningitis outbreak that is linked to a Framingham pharmacy was the subject of a high level meeting in Boston Tuesday morning.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 11 people have died and there are 119 meningitis cases in 10 states, but it’s speculated that those numbers could get much higher. This comes as the State Board of Pharmacy accepted the New England Compounding Company’s voluntary surrender of its license.

“On behalf of the board, I want to express our deepest sympathy for the patients and families who have been impacted by this tragedy,” said James Devita of the State Board of Pharmacy.

The board met in a closed session Tuesday to discuss the investigation into the NECC, but no further action was taken against the company.

“The department will continue to apprise the public of its findings as the investigation draws to a conclusion, but at this time, we have no further information that can be released,” said Devita.

It’s believed that 13,000 patients across 23 states may have been injected with the tainted steroid treatment. The CDC has announced 14 new cases, bringing the total to 105.

NECC shipped the steroid, which investigators said was contaminated by fungus. The company made its own drug products, which were not regulated by the FDA.

Now lawmakers across the country, including in Massachusetts, are calling for stronger government oversight.

“I think all of us are upset than anything that this could ever happen in this day and age. At the same time we have to look at how could this have happened? There’s so many questions,” said one man.

Doctors said this is a rare anti-fungal meningitis.

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