Michigan Joins With Federal Probe Over Last Year's Meningitis Outbreak

Nov 25, 2013

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is joining forces with federal authorities to investigate last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak.

“We have two forces pulling one wagon to provide justice for victims,” says Schuette.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz Monday joined Schuette to announce they’ll coordinate their separate criminal investigations. Ortiz says this cooperation will give state and federal officials access to a bigger picture.

“I want to assure the public that these investigations remain active,” says Ortiz. “And because of the consideration offered by Michigan, these independent federal and state investigations are stronger and more focused.”

Both Ortiz and Shuette declined to talk about what they’re uncovered so far, and when criminal charges might be filed. Ortiz says she’s “confident in the direction” of the ongoing federal probe.

Michigan was hardest-hit by the nationwide outbreak that’s linked to tainted steroids from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. More than 750 people nationwide contracted fungal meningitis from steroid injections that were meant to relieve pain. Sixty-four people have died.

The steroids have all been traced back to the now-defunct New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

Michigan is the only state running its own investigation. The probe includes a multi-county grand jury.