Pharmacies shut down in Massachusetts following meningitis outbreak

By Robert Kirchgassner,

A series of inspections has led to the complete or partial closing of 11 pharmacies in Massachusetts.

The Associated Press reported that the inspections were the result of a fungal meningitis outbreak which began last September in Tennessee.

Forty five people have already died and over 600 more have been ill as a result of the outbreak.

The shut down pharmacies must take corrective action and submit those plans to the Board of Pharmacy before being allowed to produce drugs again.

Officials have determined that the outbreak was caused by drugs at the New England Compounding Center, which recently produced a contaminated steroid. The center is now closed.

In addition, 21 more Massachusetts pharmacies have been cited for minor deficiencies.

The Boston Herald reported that only four of the state’s pharmacies got a passing grade from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“While these results are troubling, this process has led to significant corrective measures and increased compliance among sterile compounders in Massachusetts,” DPH interim Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith said.

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