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Pharmacy Owners Sued for Meningitis Outbreak

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Boston, MAPharmacy owners allegedly responsible for steroid shots linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak have been sued in an attempt to freeze the assets of NECC and personal assets of the named officers. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of unnamed plaintiff (named “John Doe”) in Middlesex County Superior Court in Boston, according to Reuters (Oct 19, 2012).

Members of the Conigliaro family who own the pharmacy and Ameridose LLC, another drug manufacturer and compounder, spent several million dollars on luxury homes in the months before US authorities shut down their operations. Real estate transactions last March and April amounted to $6.7 million for two properties purchased by brothers Greg and Doug Conigliaro. Greg Conigliaro, along with his pharmacist brother-in-law, Barry Cadden and other family members, started NECC in 1998.

Ameridose has had its license suspended until early November, while authorities continue and complete an inspection that began October 10th.

On October 18 the U.S. health regulators confirmed the presence of the deadly Exserohilum fungus in vials of the steroid made by The New England Compounding Co. (NECC), the Massachusetts-based company responsible for distributing the contaminated medication used for pain injections. As of October19, 2012 the fungal meningitis infection has claimed 21 lives and 268 cases of infection reported.

Federal authorities are currently investigating how NECC supplied hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers who ordered large amounts of compounded drugs and whether it violated state laws regulating pharmacies.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health has taken disciplinary action against the company. The Florida Surgeon General said the NECC has lost its permit to operate as a pharmacy in Florida and may never reapply in the state again.

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