The deadly meningitis outbreak that has claimed 91 victims and caused seven deaths has now been linked to New York. Luckily, no one here has yet developed an infection, but a pharmaceutical compounder has reported that some of the vials of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate that appear to have been contaminated with a fungal strain of meningitis have been shipped to New York hospitals.
If someone in Troy becomes sick because the medicine he or she took was contaminated, he or she can often file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer who made the faulty medicine. Just like with any product, consumers should not have to worry that the medicines they take will cause any risk of injury or death. Unfortunately, as in this case, some manufacturers or compounders are less-than-cleanly and put thousands of people at risk by distributing tainted medicine.
In this case, the pharmaceutical compounder mailed out 17,676 vials of the steroid to 76 different facilities. Since the outbreak, however, the company has not only recalled all shipments of the steroid, but also every other drug that was mixed at the facility linked to the outbreak. Though the company says this is merely a matter of caution, it is possible that other drugs made at the same location would also cause significant illness or injury.
Within one day, 27 new cases were reported on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website. It remains to be seen, however, whether the increased publicity of the situation will reduce the number of cases of this rare form of meningitis.
Source: Reuters, "Deadly meningitis outbreak increases to 91 cases," Tim Ghianni, Oct. 7, 2012
As part of our practice, we have done considerable work on behalf of New Yorkers who have been injured by dangerous drugs. Learn more about what we do by visiting our website.