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Five deaths in meningitis outbreak linked to Mass. firm

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 12:00am
Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology

The death toll from an outbreak of a rare fungal meningitis, which has been traced back to a Framingham pharmacy, has reached five, and warnings have spread to 23 states.

New England Compounding Center is linked to the outbreak, which investigators believe to have been caused by a steroid injection supplied by the firm. The pharmacy has since suspended operations.

A sealed vial of the steroid, obtained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reportedly contained levels of fungus that were visible to the naked eye, according to a report on ABC News. Manufacturing of such compounding companies is typically monitored by the State Board of Pharmacy, and the FDA would only get involved if a drug were being adulterated or misbranded.

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