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State Net Capitol Journal: Massachusetts Governor Says Pharmacy Broke Rules

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) said last week that the Farmington pharmacy linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis that has claimed at least 14 lives and sickened 170 people across 11 states misled state regulators and illegally shipped large batches of drugs across the country.

Patrick said the New England Compounding Center was licensed only to fill "specific prescriptions for specific ~patients as I think any of us would understand a pharmacy to do." Instead, he told reporters last Wednesday, the company engaged in "making big batches and selling out of state as a manufacturer would," something he noted "is certainly outside their state ~license.

"It does seem like the agencies both at the state and the federal level may have been misled by some of the information we were given," the governor said.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley said her office is investigating the pharmacy's actions and may eventually bring charges. The US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also investigating the outbreak, which has been linked to a steroid produced by the pharmacy, which has voluntarily shut down until Oct. 22 to give investigators access to their operation. To date, tainted steroid shots have sickened patients in Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio and caused fatalities in Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, Michigan, Maryland and Virginia. (BOSTON HERALD, BOSTON GLOBE, USA TODAY)

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