Hearing to examine Mass. oversight of pharmacies

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 2:16 am •  Published: November 14, 2012
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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts legislators are taking a closer look at the state's oversight of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that has been linked to a fatal, nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis.

A hearing Wednesday will consider the state's dealings with Framingham-based New England Compounding Center, which distributed a contaminated steroid that has sickened about 440 people and led to than 30 deaths.

The state pharmacy board is under scrutiny for its handling of past complaints against the company.

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Judith Bigby, whose department oversees the board, is among those expected to testify.

Also Wednesday, a U.S. House committee hears testimony in Washington from the pharmacy's owner and the state's interim health commissioner. Lawmakers have called for tighter regulation of

compounding pharmacies, which fall into a gray area between state and federal law.


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