Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Strengthen regulations for small drug companies to protect consumers from disease outbreaks due to contaminated drugs
There has been a recent outbreak of meningitis due to a contaminated drug that was sold to high-end hospitals, private doctors and clinics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the steroid, which is typically used to treat back or neck pain, was contaminated with dangerous fungi which caused meningitis in some of the patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the drug back to the Massachusetts specialty company, New England Compounding, which had at least one infected sealed vial in its lab. No one is sure how the steroid became contaminated, but if there were more regulations on smaller companies like this one, the meningitis outbreak might have been prevented.
There have been seven deaths resulting from this steroid injection so far, and another 57 victims have fallen ill. These numbers are slowly rising since thousands of patients have been injected after the company was allowed to sell up to 17,676 vials to pain clinics based in 23 states. Smaller companies like New England Compounding create their own drugs under little supervision. They also sell their drugs at a significantly lower price, and since these drugs are suppose to be as safe as the drugs from a major manufacturer, more and more doctors and hospitals are buying from them.
The thousands of people who were afflicted are living out their lives day to day, fearful that they may develop meningitis. All of the patients who have been injected have been contacted, but symptoms will not show up until a few weeks later. This horrible outbreak might have been prevented if New England Compounding had been inspected more often. New England Compounding has been previously investigated by Massachusetts regulators back in 2006. That investigation forced tighter regulations for New England Compounding; however, the regulations were still not strict enough since the drugs were still infected. The company and the state’s regulators are investigating what could have caused the contamination, but New England Compounding has yet to comment again.
New England Compounding must be held responsible for endangering the lives of so many people. However, in order to prevent possible future outbreaks, these smaller companies must be regulated more strictly.
Dear U.S. Congressmen,
The recent outbreak of meningitis stresses the importance of enforcing tighter and stricter regulations on small drug companies. New England Compounding, a drug company based in Massachusetts, recently sold over 17,000 vials of steroids to 23 states, claiming that the steroids were safe. However, after seven deaths, the vials were discovered to be contaminated with fungi that caused meningitis.
The fact that the company was able to sell so many vials also proves that companies like this need to be regulated even more. Thousands of people’s lives are now endangered due to the lack of care. New England Compounding must be held responsible, and these small drug companies in general must be regulated better before another outbreak occurs.
[Your Name Here]