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Mass. Lawmakers Okay Compounding Pharmacy Crackdown

Meningitis Outbreak Inside The CDC

By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has unanimously approved tougher regulations on drug compounding pharmacies like the one blamed for a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak.

The bill, which now moves to the Senate, will among other things require special licenses in Massachusetts for compounding pharmacies and make them subject to unannounced inspections.

According to the most recent figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 people had died and 750 others had been sickened in 20 states by a tainted steroid distributed by the now-closed New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

State Rep. David Linsky, a Natick Democrat, called the tragedy “an absolute failure of government.”

The bill also mandates that pharmacies report their drug production by type and volume.

It passed on Wednesday by a vote of 155-0.

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