Feds Prepare For Criminal Investigation Into Meningitis Outbreak

In the first sign that federal officials may be preparing a criminal case against the compounding pharmacy that has been linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak — after contaminated steroid shots produced in the company’s Massachusetts facility exposed thousands of Americans to a rare strain of fungal meningitis, and led to over a dozen deaths — criminal investigators from the Justice Department and the FDA visited the pharmacy yesterday. The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations is responsible for looking into suspected violations of federal laws that are in place to safeguard public health. Some members of Congress have already called for an investigation into the outbreak, which may have resulted from the largely unregulated practice of compounding drugs, since the FDA does not currently have oversight over that sector of the pharmaceutical industry.