Criminal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration were at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., on Tuesday, officials said, in the first public indication that the federal government was preparing a case against the company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.
Federal and state officials have said they believe that contaminated pain medicine from New England Compounding had caused the deaths of 16 people and sickened more than 200. And while investigators from the F.D.A’s regulatory section have been in and out of the company’s offices since early October, Tuesday appeared to have been the first time criminal investigators were on site.
The F.D.A. is a regulatory agency, but embedded within it is a section devoted to criminal prosecutions. The agents at the company Tuesday were from that section.