KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Federal Agents Raid Drug Compounding Center

Food and Drug Administration investigators probe the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has killed 16.

The New York Times: Investigators Visit Company Tied To Meningitis Cases
Criminal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration were at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., on Tuesday, officials said, in the first public indication that the federal government was preparing a case against the company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak (Tavernise and Grady, 10/16).

Reuters: Feds Raid Massachusetts Lab Tied To Meningitis Outbreak
Federal agents on Tuesday raided the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a widespread meningitis outbreak that has killed 16 people and sickened more than 200 others, federal prosecutors said. Agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration searched the New England Compounding Center, or NECC, in the Boston suburb of Framingham, with officers from the local police department providing support, Framingham police said (Clarke, Herbst-Bayliss and Berkrot, 10/16).

WBUR: Former Regulator Calls For More Oversight Of Compounding Pharmacies
Federal health officials are now urging doctors to warn all patients who have received any injectable drug made by the Framingham compounding pharmacy tied to a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis. Fifteen people have died and 214 people have become ill in 15 states. The FDA says three new cases of infection could have been caused by products other than the suspected steroid. The outbreak has raised questions about the little known sector of "compounding pharmacies," which take medications and personalize them for individual patients. For a look at the industry's regulations and oversight, WBUR's Morning Edition host Bob Oakes spoke with a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy, Bill Gouveia (Oakes and McNerney, 10/16).

Medpage Today: Feds Raid Compounding Pharmacy
The CDC is reporting 19 additional cases of fungal meningitis associated with a contaminated steroid made by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass. Moreover, late Tuesday U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said federal agents raided the NECC. Ortiz declined to offer more details on the raid, but did release this statement: "I can confirm that this office and our law enforcement partners are investigating allegations concerning the New England Compounding Center." But the FDA said it is now investigating just two cases of possible fungal infection associated with other drugs from the same maker, rather than the three cases the agency announced yesterday (Smith, 10/16).

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