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Meningitis-linked company could lose license after unclean conditions found

October 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Massachusetts state officials have moved to revoke the license of the pharmacy linked to the country's meningitis outbreak after they discovered unclean conditions and visible specks of fungus in steroids produced by the company.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday the state wants to revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center and three pharmacists.

Massachusetts officials say an initial investigation found drugs were sent out before tests results on their sterility could be returned and a leaking boiler was located near a company clean room.

They also say the company broke the terms of its license by operating as a drug manufacturer that produced drugs for broader use. The company's license only allows for specific prescriptions to go to specific doctors.

This comes as the Federal Drug Administration released a list of every medical practice that received steroid shots tied to the deadly nation-wide fungal meningitis outbreak.

The outbreak was tied to steroid shots produced by the New England Compounding Center. The company recalled all of its products last month.

State documents show investigators found inadequate contamination control among other problems back in 2006. The problems were reportedly corrected that same year, and a 2011 state inspection did not find any issues. A congressional committee is asking for a decade's worth of records from the company.

The meningitis outbreak has sickened nearly 300 people, including 23 who died, in more than a dozen states. Each victim had received a steroid shot, mostly for back pain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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