A wish for relief, a tainted drug, a tragic outcome

Meningitis caused by a Framingham pharmacy’s steroids cut short dozens of lives, leaving behind a web of anguish

Snapshots of loss

An outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections from tainted steroid drugs, made by a Framingham medication-compounding company, has killed 39 people from eight states at last count. It is the most deadly disaster from improperly made drugs since 1937, when more than 100 people, mostly children, died from an untested drug used to treat streptococcal infections. A few details about the known victims, most of them older, many of them women, offer a glimpse of the toll.