Meningitis Deaths Increase to 36, More than 500 Infected

Health officials said there are now 510 individuals infected with meningitis in 19 states, linked to Framingham-based specialty pharmacy New England Compounding Center.

National health officials announced a 36th individual has died related to the national meningitis outbreak.

Framingham-based specialty pharmacy New England Compounding Center (NECC) has been linked to the deadly outbreak.

Health officials said there are now 510 individuals infected with meningitis in 19 states. An Andover woman could bring the number to 20 states.

All of the Waverly Street's company's products have been recalled and the company has been shut down.

There have also been 14 cases of peripheral joint infection cases related to the meningitis outbreak.

NECC owner Barry Cadden took the fifth in the congressional hearing.

Just before Thanksgiving, a

In a congressional report, the FDA considered New England Compounding Center to be a pharmacy in 2003. Pharmacies are regulated by the state, drug manufacturers are regulated by the FDA.

Congressman Ed Markey, who represents Framingham, is the senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

He said NECC fell into a "blackhole" between federal and state regulators and became a "compounding manufacturer" and not a compounding pharmacy.

The two Washington committees may create legislation to shift oversight of compounding pharmacies from states to the FDA.

Also in November, Massachusetts fired the director of its Board of Pharmacy after he failed to investigate a complaint against New England Compounding Center.

The FDA released a list of customers, who received products from NECC in Framingham on or after May 21.

Click here to find all of Framingham Patch’s coverage of NECC and the meningitis outbreak.


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