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High-profile cases involving deaths due to compounded medications have prompted calls for consistent regulation of such medications, workers compensation experts say.
At least 64 people died in a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated injectable steroids made by New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc. That case also resulted in at least 700 confirmed meningitis cases, and victims are awaiting approval of a $100 million settlement from owners and insurers of the now-bankrupt pharmacy.
Last month, a grand jury in Orange County, California, reportedly charged three medical professionals with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 5-month-old boy who allegedly ingested a compounded cream that contained an antidepressant, a cough suppressant and a painkiller. The charges were part of an indictment accusing 15 Californians of workers compensation fraud.
The use and price of compounded medications in workers compensation has climbed sharply, prompting concerns about controlling prescription costs for comp claims and managing safety for injured workers.