Tennessee suspends NECC license after meningitis outbreak
NASHVILLE Oct 15 (Reuters) - Tennessee, the state hardest hit by a rare outbreak of fungal meningitis, on Monday suspended the license of New England Compounding Center, the company which made the steroid linked to the deaths of 15 people
The Pharmacy Board of Tennessee voted 7 to 0 to accept NECC's offer to voluntarily surrender the license to operate in the state, said Bill Christian, spokesman for the state health department.
The board took the action at a hearing to discuss the outbreak of meningitis, which has stricken 53 people in Tennessee and left six people dead in the state. A total of 212 people have been stricken with meningitis in 15 states and two others have infections in joints that are not confirmed as meningitis.
The Tennessee action has little practical effect because NECC already has surrendered its license to operate in its home state of Massachusetts and has halted operations. It also has recalled three lots of steroid from which samples have tested positive for fungus contamination.
The company faces an array of federal and state investigations as a result of the outbreak. (Reporting By Tim Ghianni; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Paul Thomasch)