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Hearing to Examine Mass. Oversight of Pharmacies

BOSTON (AP) — The state’s oversight of compounding pharmacies will be the subject of a legislative hearing this week.

Massachusetts lawmakers called for the Statehouse hearing for Wednesday in the wake of a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a steroid distributed by Framingham-based New England Compounding Center. The outbreak has sickened more than 400 people and caused more than 30 deaths.

The state pharmacy board is under scrutiny for its handling of past complaints against the company. The board’s director, James Coffey, was fired last week.

The Massachusetts board falls under the umbrella of the state Department of Public Health. The agency also faces questions about its oversight of a now-closed state lab, where a former chemist has been accused of mishandling drug tests.