Bryan Cohen Oct. 31, 2012, 6:38pm

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office filed an emergency petition on Friday requesting that the Indiana Board of Pharmacy suspend the license of the New England Compounding Center.

The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed 43 cases of fungal meningitis in the state and three deaths as a result of a tainted steroid injection produced by the Framingham, Mass.-based NECC. The pharmacy is a licensed non-resident pharmacy whose products are sold and distributed in Indiana, making it legally responsible for safe and proper distribution of devices and drugs.

"It is tragically clear that this out-of-state pharmacy presents an immediate danger to public health and safety," Zoeller said. "Our office will use all available resources to ensure Indiana patients are protected from any more harm and to pursue a formal administrative action against the company's ability to operate in our state."

The board will consider the petition at its next meeting on Monday. If the suspension is granted, the NECC would not be able to operate in Indiana for 90 days. During that time, Zoeller's office would put together a formal licensing complaint to file before the board. The complaint would allow the board to determine the appropriate disciplinary measure to take.

The ISDH reports 1,502 people in the state who were exposed to the contaminated medication through an epidural or joint injection.

As of Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 328 cases of fungal meningitis across 18 states resulting from the tainted injection.

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