February 5, 2013

Mass. shuts 11 pharmacies following surprise inspections

Steve LeBlanc / The Associated Press

BOSTON — Massachusetts officials have ordered 11 compounding pharmacies to completely or partially shut down after a series of recent unannounced state inspections.

The inspections were prompted by a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak caused by drugs linked to the now-closed New England Compounding Center. The Framingham pharmacy produced a contaminated steroid blamed for an outbreak that has killed 45 people and sickened more than 600 nationwide.

The unannounced inspections were conducted over the past several months at 40 sterile compounding pharmacies across the state.

Besides the 11 cease-and-desist orders, public health inspectors cited 21 other pharmacies for minor deficiencies that have since been corrected or are currently being addressed.

Pharmacies that have been shut down must submit a plan and take corrective actions before they can begin producing drugs again.

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