The compounding pharmacy that manufactured contaminated steroid shots that caused the 2012 multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak sickening at least 750 people and killing 64 has agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle claims from victims and their surviving family members. However, when and how the money will be distributed to those infected in the outbreak is still yet to be determined.
About 18,000 contaminated steroid shots manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC) were distributed to medical facilities in 23 states. An estimated 14,000 people received the tainted shots, which were used to treat back, neck and joint pain. Hundreds of patients developed fungal infections, including fungal meningitis.
The proposed settlement requires NECC owners to pay $47.75 million, the pharmacy’s insurers and the landlord to cover $29 million, and tax refunds for losses are expected to cover another $20 million. Attorneys anticipate an additional $10 million to come from the sale of Ameridose, a sister company of NECC that made and repackaged the steroid shot for hospitals and medical facilities. Additional funds are expected to come from the medical facilities that administered the tainted shots as well as other companies found responsible.
Despite the hefty price tag, attorneys said they were skeptical that the settlement would fully compensate the more than 3,000 creditors who have filed claims against the compounding pharmacy in bankruptcy court.
If the settlement is approved by a judge, a system will have to be developed for allocating funds to victims of the outbreak.
Source: Pharmacy Times