Meningitis Outbreak Illustrates Drug Manufacturing Problem

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Medications on Saturday, October 27, 2012

Concerns about pharmacies that compounded drugs have been in existence long before the recent meningitis outbreak that has been responsible for a large number of deaths and illnesses. The meningitis outbreak has been blamed upon one compounding pharmacy that manufactured steroids that are now believed to have been tainted.

Missouri has been only one of two states that have randomly tested the drugs from compounding pharmacies, and the results of these tests have suggested a large amount of defective drugs have been manufactured and distributed throughout the country. The Missouri tests have suggested the potency of drugs sold by these compounding pharmacies varies greatly – as much as 300 percent.

Though this may not have occurred regarding the meningitis outbreak, it has been suggested that many compounding pharmacies have used ingredients manufactured overseas in factories not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is believed that many of the ingredients disallowed by the FDA for usage by compounding pharmacies were made in China. These would include illegally sold anabolic steroids and human growth hormones.

The problem concerning these defective medications being manufactured by compounding pharmacies is that the FDA only has so much authority as far as penalizing these companies. States have ultimate jurisdiction over the regulation of these substances, and sometimes state regulations are not so effective as to prevent the manufacture or distribution of the tainted drugs.

The reason why we have products liability attorneys helping out people injured or sickened by these drugs is because legislation may never be sufficient to police the manufacturing of medications. Law suits may ultimately force these companies to make changes.

Source: The New York Times, “U.S. Concern Over Compounders Predates Outbreak of Meningitis,” by Walt Bogdanich, Oct. 22, 2012

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