Federal Grand Jury Investigation Launched Into Meningitis Outbreak
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A federal grand jury has now launched an investigation into the New England Compounding Center, the Massachusetts facility blamed for producing the tainted steroid shots that led to the deaths of 36 people in seven states.
Sources said a Boston Grand Jury has already begun issuing subpoenas to employees of both N-E-C-C, and Medical Sales Management of Framingham, the company which handled sales and administrative support for the pharmacy.
One former Medical Sales management employee told the Boston Globe that FBI agents interviewed him for hours Friday about sales and production practices at both companies. They delivered a subpoena calling for him to testify in a federal court.
Several witnesses are also expected to testify before federal grand jurors in Boston next week. After the outbreak began, prosecutors said they would look into potential criminal charges.
In October, FDA agents raided NECC's offices and hauled out boxes of evidence. They later revealed a history of serious safety violations at NECC, including obvious contamination in rooms where drugs were produced.
Regulators have also accused the company of shipping drugs in bulk without individual prescriptions for each patient which is a violation of its state license.
Since the fungal meningitis outbreak began 541 people have been sickened, including 88 here in Tennessee.