Bryan Cohen Nov. 1, 2012, 7:03pm

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced on Thursday that the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a massive meningitis outbreak agreed to an indefinite summary suspension of its license to do business in the state.

Zoeller's office filed an emergency petition last week requesting that the Indiana Board of Pharmacy suspend the license of the Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center. The board will consider and vote on the agreement on Monday.

"The agreement by the New England Compounding Center to have their pharmacy license suspended is encouraging," Zoeller said. "The tragic and fatal consequences of the company's actions regarding the sterility of their drugs cannot be overlooked and our office will use all resources available to make sure they are held accountable."

The Indiana State Department of Health confirmed on Thursday that there have been 48 cases of fungal meningitis and three deaths in the state connected to a tainted steroid injection produced by NECC. NECC is a licensed non-resident pharmacy that distributes and sells products in Indiana, making it legally responsible for safe and proper storage and distribution of devices and drugs.

If the board votes to accept the agreement, the NECC would not be able to operate in Indiana indefinitely. At that time, Zoeller's office can put together a formal licensing complaint to file before the board. The complaint would enable 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 joint injection or an epidural.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 377 cases of fungal meningitis and 28 deaths across 19 states resulting from the tainted injection.

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