Fungal Meningitis: Anatomy of an Outbreak


Oct. 26: The FDA released an investigation document, revealing that a quarter of the steroid vials in an NECC bin contained "greenish black foreign matter." The FDA went on to identify several clean rooms -- where sterile products are produced -- that had either mold or bacterial overgrowths.

Nov. 6: NECC president Barry Cadden was subpoenaed to appear before Congress about outbreak.

Nov. 7: The 42-day risk period designated by the CDC ended, but five new cases were reported, bringing the total case count to 424, including 10 joint infections. Of those, 31 patients died.

The same day, the Massachusetts pharmacy board director was fired.

Nov. 14: A congressional hearing on the outbreak is set to take place. "The [New England Compounding Center] has a history of problems, some of which were documented in an FDA warning letter in 2006," the House subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation said in a statement announcing the hearing. "We want to know what went wrong at this facility, the views and actions of its regulators, and that steps can be taken to ensure such an outbreak never happens again."

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