October 4, 2012 in Health, Nation/World

Pharmaceutical firm halts work

 

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – A Massachusetts specialty pharmacy suspected as the source of a steroid that has been linked to an outbreak of a deadly form of meningitis said it has voluntarily suspended operations.

In a statement Wednesday, the New England Compounding Center said it was working closely with the state Department of Public Health and other regulators to identify the source of infection.

The company said that immediately after it was notified about the infections it initiated a voluntary recall Sept. 26.

Health officials said the outbreak has sickened 26 people in five states who received steroid injections. Four people have died. Eighteen of the cases are in Tennessee, where a Nashville clinic received the largest shipment of the steroid from the Framingham-based company.

The Massachusetts health department said it is collaborating with federal regulators and other states on the investigation. It confirmed the New England Compounding Center voluntarily surrendered its license to operate and has recalled the suspected steroid medication along with all similar medications it produced.

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