Nightly News | October 14, 2012
>>> we turn now to that outbreak of meningitis cases tied to steroid injections from a pharmacy in massachusetts. today the cdc said the number of cases has risen to 205 in 14 states. all this is bringing new scrutiny to a specialized part of the pharmacy industry. we get more from nbc's senior investigative correspondent lisa myers .
>> she was the type of person that everyone loved. she was dynamic, she was loving.
>> reporter: george carol's wife was getting what she thought was a routine steroid injection for back pain and it killed her. it turns out the company that compounded the drug -- in 2002 and 2003 , the f -- in 2004 a man died from a contaminated injection, necc settled the lawsuit. in 2006 , the fda issued a warning left for necc to stop marketing the cream. they produced thousands of doses of the steroid.
>> when was the last time either the food and drug administration or the massachusetts board of pharmacy were visiting this business and looking carefully at what they were doing. we already know that they had had a history of problems, was anyone following up with that?
>> reporter: this is by no means the first time safety concerns have been raised about these specialized compounding pharmacies. since 2004 , the fda has issued 49 warning letters to compounding pharmacies around the country for significant safety violations. and at least 19 previous deaths may be associated with drugs from these pharmacies. the fda says it has some authority to regulate them, but that the agency's authority over compounding has been challenged vigorously in the courts by compounding pharmacies as well as in congress. but critics argue that because necc was manufacturing drugs on a wide scale, the fda clearly had authority to act.
>> the fda for whatever reason has dropped the ball.
>> reporter: necc did not spongd to multiple requesters for comment. t lisa myers nbc news, washington.