Pharmacy at center of US meningitis outbreak searched
CHICAGO (AFP) - Criminal investigators searched on Tuesday the US pharmacy which made the tainted drugs tied to a widening meningitis outbreak, as the death toll from the outbreak rose to 16 people.
The search comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified two new drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts that may have infected patients with the rare form of fungal meningitis.
"This is part of our ongoing investigation... to fully investigate the scope and cause of the outbreak of fungal meningitis," Sara Clark-Lynn, a spokeswoman for the FDA, told AFP.
Federal prosecutors joined the FDA's criminal investigation unit and other agencies looking into how three contaminated lots of steroids produced by NECC put 14,000 people in 23 states at risk. The drug is commonly injected into the spine to treat back pain.