Tonight on AC360: Meningitis outbreak, a family's heartbreak
October 10th, 2012
05:52 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Meningitis outbreak, a family's heartbreak

137 people are battling a rare, noncontagious form of meningitis, up from 119 cases yesterday. The death toll remains at 12.

Tonight on the program Anderson will talk with the husband and daughter of Lilian Cary, 67, who died after receiving a potentially contaminated steroid injection linked to the outbreak. A memorial was held in her honor yesterday in Howell, Michigan where the family lives.

Cary's husband, George, is awaiting test results to see if he too has fungal meningitis. He also received a potentially tainted steroid injection, a common treatment for back pain, a few weeks after his wife.

Mr. Cary will share what he's faced these past few weeks. "Where are the politicians?" he asks. Cary is calling for more oversight of compounding pharmacies that make and sell medications across America. The New England Compounding Center (NECC) that made the steroid linked to the meningitis outbreak has recalled the drug and shut down its operations as the FDA, CDC and Massachusetts officials investigate the facility.

Anderson will also talk with Cary's daughter, Heather Andrus. She tells us she recently moved near her parents so her two children, an 8-year-old and 10-month old, could live closer to their grandmother. Now they are all mourning her loss.

"We want to put a face to a statistic and make sure this doesn't happen to other families," Andrus tell us.

We'll also update you on our investigation of NECC. We'll check in again with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who visited the facility yesterday and noticed it shares its property with what looks like a garbage dump. There were piles of trash, including old mattresses, behind the building where, inside, drugs are compounded.

We've discovered there are no federal sterility guidelines for compounding pharmacies. Plus, the FDA has no authority over the pharmacies until there's a problem like there is now. FDA officials say they've been trying to change that for years. And with the CDC reporting as many as 13,000 people across the United States may have received the injections in question, along with at least 12 deaths, there are growing calls for more oversight.

Join us tonight as the family of Lilian Cary demands changes and shares her remarkable life story. That's at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Watch Gupta's report about the New England Compounding Center property:

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Filed under: Medical News • Meningitis
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