Death Toll Rises To 8 In Framingham Pharmacy-Linked Meningitis Outbreak

By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV

FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – As many as 13,000 people received tainted epidural steroid injections manufactured at a Framingham compounding pharmacy according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The injections have been linked to 105 cases of fungal meningitis and 8 deaths in an outbreak that has spread from coast to coast.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says it has been working with the FDA since 2002 to investigate the New England Compounding Center.

If that’s the case, some ask, then how could regulators have missed problems at the pharmacy that led to the outbreak.

“I think all of us are upset that anything like this could happen in this day and age,” said Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Suffolk County).

Sanchez says his legislative committee and others will work to determine if oversight failed.

Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) is also asking who is to blame. In a letter to the FDA he writes, “Compounding pharmacies fall into a regulatory black hole.”

WBZ-TV reached out to the owners of NECC for comment but they have refused to answer questions.

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