Meningitis outbreak: New England Compounding Pharmacy files bankruptcy

Vials of the injectable steroid product made by

Vials of the injectable steroid product made by New England Compounding Center implicated in a fungal meningitis outbreak that were being shipped to the CDC from Minneapolis. Massachusetts shut down another compounding pharmacy over sterility concerns after a surprise inspection prompted by the nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to a different company, state officials have said. (Oct. 29, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc., the Mass. pharmaceutical company blamed for a nationwide meningitis outbreak, filed for bankruptcy protection to deal with lawsuits filed against it.

More than 30 people died and 490 were injured after the company shipped fungus-tainted drugs to customers throughout the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company plans to establish a fund under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to compensate individuals and families affected by the outbreak.

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The Framingham-based company listed both assets and debt of $1 million to $10 million in Chapter 11 documents filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston.

New England Compounding's "goal is to provide a greater, quicker, fairer payout to its creditors than they could achieve through piecemeal litigation," the company said Friday in a statement.

Under bankruptcy law, all litigation against a company or individual who seeks protection is put on hold while the case is pending. A judge can grant a request to allow the claims to proceed outside bankruptcy court in some instances.

The case is In re New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc., 12-19882, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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