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Mass. pharmacy board director fired

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm •  Published: November 7, 2012

In September, the company recalled three batches of steroids, totaling 17,676 single-dose vials of medicine, made since May.

The NECC, located in Framingham, outside Boston, was authorized by its state license only to fill specific prescriptions for individual patients.

Pharmacies that produce drugs in bulk are subject to federal oversight, and state officials have accused the NECC of masking its true nature as a drug manufacturer to escape more stringent regulation.

Colorado officials first dealt with the company in April 2011, when the board there issued a cease-and-desist order for the NECC, ordering it to stop "the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs in the state of Colorado." The order came after an inspector discovered NECC drugs stored for general use at a hospital in Lone Tree, Colo., near Denver.

Then in July, another inspector found bulk quantities of other NECC-made drugs at a hospital in St. Delta, Colo.

After confirming with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the NECC was not registered as a drug manufacturer, the Colorado officials emailed Coffey.

The NECC has been closed since early last month, and Massachusetts officials have taken steps to permanently revoke its license. Federal and state investigators have found evidence of unsanitary conditions and practices at the company, and federal investigators are conducting a criminal investigation.

A company spokesman has said it was always NECC's intent to obey the law in every state in which it was licensed.