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fungal meningitis

cdc.gov

Four years after the fungal meningitis outbreak that sickened more than 260 people and killed 19 in Michigan, victims are just now starting to see some compensation.

“Checks are just now starting to come out,” says Marc Lipton, a Southfield attorney who represents dozens of the fungal meningitis patients. “I mean, the very first checks are being issued. And they’re going to be on a rolling basis.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop
U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop/C-SPAN

The U.S. Department of Justice will make $40 million available to victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

That's according to U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester.

“Every victim deserves an advocate," Bishop said in a press release. "It’s been nearly four long years for these victims and their families, and now we’re finally getting some positive news,”

The meningitis outbreak was tied to tainted steroid injections administered at clinics in several states. Hundreds of people were sickened, and 76 died – including 19 in Michigan.

Army Medicine / Flickr

 A $10.5 million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit involving a group of Michigan pain clinics and a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

The outbreak started when a Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center, shipped out contaminated steroid shots to pain clinics across the country – including a group called the Michigan Pain Specialists, which injected the shots into hundreds of patients.

More than 260 people in Michigan were sickened, and 19 people in this state died.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A jury says doctors at a northern Michigan clinic weren't negligent in using tainted steroids that were part of a national meningitis outbreak.

  More than 100 patients sued doctors and the clinic, Neuromuscular & Rehabilitation Associates in Traverse City. The Traverse City Record-Eagle says a jury ruled in favor of the doctors and the clinic Thursday after a civil trial.

Persons with Fungal Infections Linked to Steroid Injections, by State
CDC

 A judge has approved a $200 million settlement for victims of the fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012.

It was caused by a Massachusetts pharmacy called the New England Compounding Center, which was making massive amounts of back pain shots in a dirty lab.

Tim Gee

An organization of Michigan biotech companies is looking for a permanent fix for a law they say unfairly burdens medical device companies.  

The Pharmacy Control and Drug Practice law went into effect in September. It was originally intended to improve the safety of drug products sold by compounding pharmacies. 

karamanislaw.com

Federal agents seized roughly $18 million from three of the owners of the Massachusetts pharmacy responsible for the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

Right now, it’s still unclear whether that money will actually wind up in a proposed $135 million victim compensation fund.

Twenty-three of the 64 people killed nationwide in the outbreak were from Michigan.

Persons with Fungal Infections Linked to Steroid Injections, by State
CDC

UPDATE: This story was updated on 12/18/14 at 9:48 am

Fourteen people face federal charges for mishandling tainted drugs that caused a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

A co-owner of the New England Compounding Center and the supervisory pharmacist face the most serious charges of causing the deaths of 64 people; 23 of those victims were from Michigan.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says his office helped in the federal investigation and he’s pleased to see it led to serious charges.

Center for Disease Contorl / http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-facilities-map.html

The first person arrested for sending tainted drugs to doctors, causing the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, pleaded not guilty today.

Glenn Adam Chin is a Massachusetts pharmacist who supervised so-called “clean rooms” at the New England Compounding Center.

He’s being charged with one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to reports.

Chin’s employer, the New England Compounding Center, was supposed to be tailoring medications for individual patients whose doctors sent in a valid prescription.

cdc.gov

The fungal meningitis outbreak isn't that far behind us. 

Two years ago, a Massachusetts compounding facility sold tainted steroid medications around the country. What happened was disastrous: 22 Michigan residents lost their lives to meningitis and more than 260 were infected. 

New legislation could prevent that from happening again. A bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, may be voted on this week. It calls for more background checks on compounding pharmacies and more facility inspections.

Center for Disease Control

Michigan was hit hard by the fungal meningitis outbreak, which stemmed from tainted steroids from the New England Compounding Center. According to the Center for Disease Control, 264 cases have been reported in the state – more than 100 more than any other state in the nation.

Victims and their families are urged to file claims for possible compensation through a $100 million victim compensation fund created by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts; however, time is running short.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan residents are expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of a $100 million settlement with a Massachusetts pharmacy company linked to a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Authorities say 22 of the 64 people who died in the outbreak were from Michigan.

Attorneys for creditors of the Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center said Monday that they've reached a preliminary settlement to create a victim compensation fund worth more than $100 million.

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Federal judge will announce if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy next week

"A judge says he'll announce Dec. 3 whether Detroit is eligible to get rid of its debts in bankruptcy court," the Associated Press reports

Michigan and federal government investigate fungal meningitis outbreak

"Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is joining forces with federal authorities to investigate last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak. Michigan was hardest-hit by the nationwide outbreak that’s linked to tainted steroids from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Enough signatures collected to propose a ban on abortion coverage

"Michigan abortion foes have collected enough signatures to put a proposal before lawmakers to ban abortion coverage from health plans unless a separate policy is bought," the Associated Press reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Governor Snyder supports campaign finance law changes

"Governor Snyder says he tentatively supports some major changes to Michigan’s campaign finance laws. The State Senate acted earlier this month to double the amount individuals can donate to state lawmakers’ campaigns. It would require some additional financial disclosure from those campaigns," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Officials to discuss a development in last years fungal meningitis outbreak

"Victims of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak aren't holding out much hope they'll receive compensation for the deaths and illnesses caused by tainted steroids traced to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. Officials will hold a news conference today to discuss a development in the investigation. Twenty two people from Michigan died in the outbreak," the Associated Press reports.

Gaming compact expires Saturday

"At the end of this week the 1993 gaming compact between the state of Michigan and six native American tribes officially expires. Some say theoretically, if the gaming compact is allowed to expire, the tribes should not be able to legally operate their casinos. However it’s doubtful the state would attempt to force the casinos to close," Steve Carmody reports.

Attorney General's office

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants the state to regulate and inspect drug compounding centers like the one that produced the medication that caused a nationwide meningitis outbreak a year ago.

At least 264 people were infected by an adulterated pain medication, and 19 died. Michigan suffered more casualties from the outbreak than any other state.

prweb.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation is being proposed to more closely regulate 470 compounding pharmacies in Michigan after a deadly outbreak of meningitis a year ago.

The infection of 264 Michigan residents, 17 who died, is blamed on contaminated steroids produced by a company in Massachusetts. But Michigan's attorney general, a top licensing official and a state senator say oversight of Michigan pharmacies should be strengthened to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

CDC

MPRN's Rick Pluta reports:

The Michigan Court of Appeals will seat a special grand jury to look into fungal meningitis deaths and injuries linked to a compound made by Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette requested the grand jury to investigate how tainted steroids made by the New England Compounding Center came to be sold in Michigan.

Michigan was hit hardest by the nationwide spread of the tainted steroid injections.

On a list that was last updated on April 8, the CDC shows 733 tainted steroid injection cases nationwide (including 53 deaths). Michigan accounts for 259 of those cases (including 15 deaths). This list was last updated on April 8. More deaths have occurred since then.

The following is a statement from Attorney General Schuette:

"Hundreds of Michigan citizens and their families have endured terrible pain and deaths of loved ones suffering from illnesses caused by these tainted steroid injections," said Schuette.  "This investigation is necessary uncover the truth as to how this unspeakable tragedy happened and to restore public faith in our healthcare system."

"We will discover what went wrong, bring bad actors to justice, and then work to implement new protections to ensure tragedies like this never happen again."

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells explored the questionable practices by some doctors in Michigan who injected their patients with the tainted steroids.

From her story:

Lawyer Alyson Oliver...argues that Michigan doctors share in the blame for this epidemic, precisely because they were ordering bulk shipments of medication from a compounding center – a definite regulatory no-no.

How much is “bulk?” The Brighton Pain Clinic was able to give out some 830 injections of the contaminated drugs over just two months, according to the company’s Web site.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Kevyn Orr leaves salaries for Mayor Bing and City Council intact

The state's new emergency manager law, which goes into effect Thursday, eliminates salaries and benefits for elected municipal officials when an emergency manager is installed.

But as Michigan Radio’s Sarah Hulett reports, an order signed by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr will leave the salaries of Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council members intact.

"Salaries range from more than $70,000 for council members to close to $160,000 for Mayor Dave Bing."

State Attorney General Bill Schuette calls for a grand jury investigation into meningitis outbreak

Michigan's attorney general is seeking a criminal investigation into the deaths of 17 residents from contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

As Rick Pluta explains,

"The grand jury would have the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify, including people from the four Michigan clinics that administered the injections. And it could ask a Massachusetts court to order employees of the pharmacy that made the drug to cooperate."

Wolf hunt in Michigan may be put on hold

A group opposing the hunting of gray wolves is expected to deliver tens of thousands of petition signatures to the Secretary of State's office.

If enough of the signatures are certified, a statewide vote on the proposed wolf hunt will be placed on the ballot in 2014.

Army Medicine / Flickr

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has called for a four county grand jury investigation into contaminated steroids linked to hundreds of cases of illness and 14 deaths in the state. Schuette filed the request today  with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials say an 80-year-old Traverse City-area man is 17th person from the state to die as a result of contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says at least 258 people have contracted illnesses including fungal meningitis that are part of a national disease outbreak. That's up from 256 March 4.

The department said Monday that it's now confirmed a Grand Traverse County man's death.

cdc.gov

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials are reporting seven more infections linked to contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Monday that at least 256 people have contracted illnesses including fungal meningitis that are part of a national disease outbreak. That's up from 249 two weeks earlier.

The total includes three Michigan residents treated in Indiana and listed in that state's count.

The Michigan agency says 16 people have died in the outbreak.

It reports 68 cases of fungal meningitis, 161 epidural abscesses, one stroke and 26 peripheral joint infections in Michigan tied to the steroids. They're injected to treat neck and back pain.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials have reported three more infections and one more death linked to contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says at least 249 people have been infected with illnesses including fungal meningitis that are part of a national disease outbreak. The steroids are used in injections to treat neck and back pain.

The department reports that at least 16 people have died in the outbreak.

cdc.gov

A 73 year old man from Grand Traverse County is the latest Michigander to die in connection with a batch of tainted steroid injections.  

13 people in Michigan have now died.   Three more Michiganders have died in Indiana.

The steroid injections were given to relieve back pain.  But, the injection contained a fungal contamination. 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials have reported two more infections in the past two weeks linked to contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says at least 246 people have been infected with illnesses including fungal meningitis that are part of a national disease outbreak. The steroids are used in injections to treat neck and back pain.

The department reports that at least 15 people have died in the outbreak, unchanged from two weeks ago.

mconnors / morguefile.com

This is the second in a two-part series. Click here to hear part one.

More than 240 people in Michigan are sick with fungal meningitis after receiving contaminated back pain injections. 

Now, the victims want justice. They’ve spent weeks in the hospital, racking up massive medical bills.

Those are the lucky ones: 15 Michiganders have died so far in this epidemic.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

This is the first in a two-part series. Click here to hear part two.

Fifteen people from Michigan have died from fungal meningitis, more than in any other state.

It’s tough to know for sure why Michigan wound up with a full third of all cases nationwide. Bad luck? A graying population seeking pain relief medication that, in this case, turned out to be contaminated? Or a bustling, privatized network of pain clinics spread across the state?

3 new infections in Michigan from bad steroids

Jan 20, 2013
cdc.gov

Michigan health officials have reported three more infections in the past week linked to contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says at least 244 people have been infected with illnesses including fungal meningitis that are part of a national disease outbreak. The steroids are used in injections to treat neck and back pain.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan health officials have confirmed an 11th death in the state linked to tainted steroid injections.

The steroid injections were intended to relieve back pain. But the steroids were contaminated.

Angela Minicuci is with the Department of Community Health.

She says the 87 year old Washtenaw County woman who died December 30th was being treated for an epidural abscess.

Minicuci says abscesses have been the most diagnosed ailment related to the tainted steroid investigation.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The number of abscesses linked to contaminated steroids has risen in the past few days in Michigan, with three fresh cases reported since late last week.

The infections are linked to a national outbreak of disease blamed for 67 fungal meningitis cases and 13 deaths in Michigan.

The meningitis cases have remained stable recently, but related non-meningitis infections have continued to grow.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The number of abscesses linked to contaminated steroids is continuing to rise in Michigan, with four fresh cases reported in recent days.

The infections are linked to a national outbreak of disease blamed for 67 fungal meningitis cases and 13 deaths in Michigan.

The meningitis cases have remained stable in recent weeks, but the number of related non-meningitis infections has continued to grow in the state.

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