Mass. gov.: Fungus seen at meningitis-linked firm

October 24, 2012 • National News

Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, Director of the Mass. Bureau of Healthcare Safety, addresses reporters during a news conference regarding the Massachusetts pharmacy responsible for the meningitis outbreak during a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. The outbreak of meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, has sickened nearly 300 people, including 23 who died, in more than a dozen states. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (AP) — State officials investigating a pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of meningitis said Tuesday they found shoddy sterilization practices and unclean conditions there, including debris-covered floor mats and standing water from a leaking boiler.

State officials also said the New England Compounding Center shipped steroids from the possibly contaminated batches suspected in the outbreak before it received its own test results confirming the drugs were sterile.

Gov. Deval Patrick said he’s ordered state pharmacy regulators to conduct surprise inspections — the first of which happened Tuesday — at companies similar to the NECC and take other steps to tighten oversight. The state also has moved to Login to read more

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