State Suspends License of Company Linked to Meningitis Outbreak

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Michigan ranks No. 2 out of 12 states affected by contaminated steroid shots: 41 cases and 3 deaths due to fungal meningitis.

Now the state says enough is enough.

"Initial investigation by the attorney general's office revealed that this company was not following state laws and licensing requirements," said Attorney General Spokeswoman Joy Yearout. "So, we've taken immediate action to suspend their license, so they can no longer operate in the state of Michigan for the immediate future."

The attorney general argues Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center distributed large amounts of medications to four clinics in Michigan, but the company is only licensed to fill individual prescriptions.

"This compounding company was acting as a drug manufacturer, and that has a completely different list of state regulations and laws that govern that practice here in Michigan, and the purpose of that is to keep the public safe," Yearout said.

Tainted shots have been removed from shelves, and the Michigan Department of Community Health contacted all 1,900 patient who received the injections. But MDCH expects the number of cases to keep rising, because it can take one to four weeks to experience the symptoms - like repeated headahes and sensitivity to light.

"This is a tragedy, and we're going to get to the bottom of this," Yearout said. "That's why the governor and attorney general have stepped forward to take immediate action to ensure this company cannot endanger any more patients here in Michigan."

The attorney general is also reviewing whether additional civil or criminal action should be taken.

The company has 30 days to respond to the complaint.

Michigan is only the third state to suspend the company's license. It voluntarily gave up its license in Massachusetts

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