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Massachusetts Pharmacies Halted by Health Inspectors

Filed February 7th, 2013 admin

Eleven Massachusetts compounding pharmacies will be partially or completely shut down at the order of Massachusetts’ health regulators, following a recent, multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak.

The governing body cited 21 other pharmacies for minor violations, following unannounced inspections of 40 pharmacies across the state, the Columbus Dispatch said.

To date, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health says that eight of the 11 pharmacies have submitted corrective plans, said the Columbus Dispatch. The inspections came in the wake of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak that came from a tainted steroid that was made by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts. The outbreak reached 20 states and has led to 696 illnesses and 45 deaths, according to the most recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The NECC recalled three lots, over 17,000 vials of the medication, associated with the outbreak shortly after it was discovered. The plant was then shut down and the investigation remains ongoing.

Symptoms of meningitis include: high fever, seizures, severe headache, stiff neck, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights and confusion. Since symptoms occur gradually, early signs of meningitis can often be mistaken for the flu.

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