The pharmacy linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy according to Fox News. The Massachusetts based New England Compounding Center shut down operations last October after a tainted shipment containing vials of methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid generally used to treat back pain injured more than 600 patients and killed 39 people, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The New England Compounding Center filed for Chapter 11 with assets ranging between $1 and $10 million according to court documents. The NECC is a private company that is based in Framingham, Massachusetts; the company shipped the tainted drug to medical facilities all throughout the United States. The company's debts were under $2.34 when it filed bankruptcy, according to records at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, as reported by Fox News.
According to the NECC, the company decided to file bankruptcy in an effort to pursue a greater and faster payout to creditors than what they believe they would achieve through a lengthy litigation. "We want to assemble a substantial fund, and then distribute it fairly and efficiently to those who are entitled relief," said NECC's independent director and chief restructuring officer Keith Lowey.
Before the deadly meningitis outbreak, the NECC managed to evade harsh punishment from health regulators on several earlier occasions leading up to the current health crisis that ultimately led to the public questioning the customary drug mixing practices in the industry as a whole, Massachusetts records show.
Hundreds of pages in a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the NECC had problems dating all the way back to 1999 when the company began operations. Despite a growing list of complaints, regulators refrained from using the harsh sanctions available against the NECC.
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