Meningitis Outbreak Investigation Continuing

Public health officials say the investigation into a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis is continuing. it is believed to have started at a Framingham compounding pharmacy. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Wednesday a second drug manufacturer with common ownership has been shut down as a precaution. So far, there have been 12 deaths and more than 130 patients sickened in 10 states. New England Public Radio’s Adam Frenier reports.

The Manager and Principal Owner of New England Compounding Company or N-E-C-C, Barry Cadden, also holds a stake in Ameridose of Westborough. Cadden’s brother-in-law is also part-owner of both companies. director of the state’s bureau of health care safety and quality, Madeline Biondolillo, says Ameridose is NOT suspected in the outbreak.

“The request for a temporary suspension of operations will allow for an on-side investigation, while continuing to safe guard public health. D-P-H has seen no evidence to suggest that there is direct concern for compromised product manufactored or compounded by Ameridose, and has not requested a recall. “

Cadden and second pharmacist from N-E-C-C have also voluntarily surrendered their pharmacy licenses. On Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick said N-E-C-C quote “misled” state and federal officials and was operating beyond the scope of its pharmacy license. Other compounding facilities in the state have been reminded compounded drugs may only be made with a specific patient prescription. N-E-C-C is accused of mass-manufacturing injectable steroids, some of which were tainted. For New England Public Radio, I’m Adam Frenier.