Pharmacy Behind Meningitis Outbreak to Pay $100M

New England Compounding Center to set up fund for victim compensation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2013 1:51 PM CST
Pharmacy Behind Meningitis Outbreak to Pay $100M
In this Oct. 16, 2012 file photo, a Food and Drug Administration Agent stands at the doorway of New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., as investigators work inside.   (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

The pharmacy most prominently linked to last year's national meningitis outbreak has reached a preliminary agreement on a settlement that would require it to create a $100 million victim compensation fund, attorneys for the company's creditors announced today. The Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center has already given up its license and declared bankruptcy amid a flood of lawsuits spinning out of the outbreak.

The settlement was reached between the creditors, the bankruptcy trustee, and the company's owners and insurers. A federal investigation is ongoing, but in more than a year it hasn't produced any criminal charges. The company's owners said in a press release that despite creating the fund it still denies any liability or wrongdoing. About 750 people in 20 states developed fungal meningitis or other infections due to the epidemic; 64 have died. Victims will have until Jan. 15 to file for compensation from the fund. (More meningitis stories.)

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