Florida Dangerous Drug Attorney Calls for Stricter Regulation of Pharmacies in Light of Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

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The founder of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, says the need for regulation and proper oversight of drug compounding companies has never been more obvious than now as a national outbreak of illnesses from contaminated steroid injections continues to grow.

Dangerous drug lawyer in Stuart, Florida

Florida personal injury lawyer Philip DeBerard, III

Just looking at this outbreak and the tragedy that has been inflicted on patients and families across Florida and other states, it’s clear that change is needed. This outbreak should have never happened. And it certainly should never happen again.

Florida dangerous drug lawyer Philip DeBerard, III, said today that stricter regulation of “compounding pharmacies” is a necessity demonstrated by facts uncovered in the ongoing investigation of the Massachusetts pharmacy being blamed for a national fungal meningitis outbreak.

DeBerard, who represents victims of dangerous drugs and other defective medical products throughout Florida, pointed to a recent USA Today editorial stating that, since 2001, “more than two dozen deaths and scores of illnesses have been linked to contaminated or mis-measured doses of medications from compounding pharmacies.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sometimes investigated and issued warnings, the newspaper says, but “the FDA insists states have primary authority over compounders, and that its own authority is limited.”

DeBerard also pointed to a Reuters news article stating that the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center is “one of thousands of pharmacies that repackage or recombine medications on a sizable scale” that “operate in a legal limbo” and without the same regulations and oversight as drug manufacturers.

“We need to give the FDA the authority, tools and resources they need to adequately police these pharmacies,” DeBerard said.

“Just looking at this outbreak and the tragedy that has been inflicted on patients and families across Florida and other states, it’s clear that change is needed. This outbreak should have never happened. And it certainly should never happen again.”

According to the FDA, investigators found fungal contamination in vials of a steroid injection at the NECC, and the firm recalled more than 17,600 vials of the injection from 23 states across the country. Later, the NECC recalled all of its products manufactured this year, which comprised thousands of medical products distributed throughout the country.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said November 1 that it had identified 377 cases of fungal meningitis, stroke due to presumed fungal meningitis or other central nervous system-related infections, plus nine peripheral joint infections (e.g., knee, hip, shoulder, elbow) that it attributes to NECC products. Twenty-eight people have died, the CDC says.

In Florida, 23 illnesses and three deaths have been attributed to the outbreak, according to the CDC.

Since the fugal meningitis outbreak came to light in early October, the FDA and some lawmakers have called for stricter oversight of drug compounders. Lobbyists have successfully blocked Congressional action in the past, USA Today says.

“Without regulation, more people in the future will be exposed to these grave risks,” DeBerard said.

DeBerard noted that physicians have been asked by the CDC and other health officials to contact all of their patients who may have received NECC products.

“We encourage those patients to follow their doctor’s advice and be wary of infection symptoms,” the veteran Florida personal injury attorney said. “And if a patient or loved one has been harmed, they should talk to a drug injury lawyer about how to protect their rights.”

About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida on the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, dog bite injuries, slip and fall injuries, swimming pool accidents and wrongful death claims. The firm represents clients throughout the South Florida communities of Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Vero Beach and across the state of Florida. The firm’s office is located at 215 SW Federal Highway, #300, Stuart, FL 34994 (local phone (772) 286-1000). For more information, call (800) 299-8878 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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