The Framingham pharmacy has agreed to contribute on the proposed $100 million settlement for the victims of the 2012 meningitis outbreak. The proposal is yet to be approved by the U.S Bankruptcy Court.
In October 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traced that source of the meningitis outbreak to three lots of medication used for epidural steroid injections manufactured by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) based in Framingham, Mass. The said lots were distributed to 23 states and were given to 14,000 patients between May and September 2012. Affected patients showed symptoms as early as August 2012 and as of March 2013, 48 people have already died while over 700 are still under treatment.
NECC has received over 400 lawsuits because of the meningitis outbreak.
The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that the victims could start receiving their compensation on early 2014 should the U.S Bankruptcy Court approve the proposal. However, there was no specific amount disclosed yet but victims were advised to file claims until January 15. The amount will be decided by the court.
“We are working very hard to expedite this process and get money to victims as quickly as possible,” said Paul D. Moore, the bankruptcy trustee who took the lead in negotiating the deal, to The Boston Globe. “This is a first step, although a significant one.”
So where will the money come from? According to Boston Globe, 25 percent of it will come from the insurance companies, while the rest will be from the owners of the NECC and its sister companies. It will also include tax refunds from the government. The information came from lawyers familiar to the case.
Despite the settlement, the owners and employees of NECC will still be liable for the criminal charges should investigators find negligence on their end. The hospitals which administered the injections were also being investigated.