Product News and Recalls

Workers linked to meningitis outbreak had concerns about quality

Former workers at a company with ties to the pharmacy responsible for a deadly meningitis outbreak said they had safety concerns.

An article in the New York Times includes interviews with former employees from Ameridose, a drug manufacturing company that has many of the same owners as the New England Compounding Center – the source of the contaminated steroid medication that has so far killed 15 people.

“Six former employees, five from Ameridose and one from New England Compounding, described a corporate culture that encouraged shortcuts, even when that meant compromising safety,” the New York Times says.

According to the story, the former employees raised the following concerns:

— One pharmacist quit because she was worried that unqualified people were helping prepare dangerous narcotics for use by hospitals.

— A quality control technician was overruled by management when he tried to stop the production line because he noticed that some labels were missing.

— A salesman and his colleagues were brought into the sterile lab to help out with packaging and labeling during rush orders, which they were not trained for.

Meningitis is a potentially deadly inflammation of the tissue lining the brain and the spinal cord. Symptoms from the fungal variety that’s causing the current outbreak include headache, fever, nausea, stiffness of the neck, confusion, dizziness, discomfort from bright lights, weakness or numbness, slurred speech and pain, redness or swelling at the injection site.

Authorities have traced the outbreak to thousands of contaminated vials of a steroid called methylprednisolone acetate, made by the NECC. All of the pharmacy’s products have since been recalled, but as many as 14,000 patients across the country may have been exposed to the contaminated medication.

The latest information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the number of infected people at 233, in 15 states.

Lopez McHugh is investigating cases related to this outbreak. If you or a loved one had an injection and were diagnosed with meningitis, you should consult with a Lopez McHugh lawyer for a free consultation.

See the story here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/us/workers-cite-concerns-at-firms-tied-to-meningitis.html?_r=0