Board approves revocation of pharmacy at center of fungal meningitis outbreak

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INDIANAPOLIS – The pharmacy at the center of a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis is no longer licensed in Indiana.

The Indiana Board of Pharmacy voted to revoke the license for New England Compounding Center (NECC). The Massachusetts-based company reached a voluntary agreement with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller last week. The board approved that deal with a vote Monday.

According to Zoeller, the license revocation means NECC can’t operate in Indiana for at least seven years. After that, the company could apply for a new license, but the board would have to approve its application.

In November, the Board of Pharmacy indefinitely suspended NECC’s non-resident pharmacy license. In addition, the Attorney General’s office recently filed a licensing complaint against the company, accusing it of failing to make sure its steroid injections were safe.

As of Feb. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 10 deaths and 79 total cases of fungal meningitis in Indiana linked to epidural steroid injections from NECC. Nationwide, the CDC said there were nearly 700 cases and 45 deaths in 20 states.

An investigation involving the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration identified NECC as the source of the meningitis. The company subsequently stopped production and recalled the steroid injections.

The Attorney General’s office said NECC is legally responsible for the “proper and safe storage and distribution of drugs and devices” because it’s a licensed non-resident pharmacy that distributed and sold products in Indiana.

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