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Massachusetts Health Officials Crack Down After Meningitis Outbreak

After the deadly meningitis outbreak that has spanned several states, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has closed another compounding pharmacy over sterility concerns. The surprise inspection of the Infusion Resource premises revealed “significant issues with the environment in which drugs were being mixed.” Infusion Resource primarily mixes sterile injectable drugs for recently-released hospital patients. While there have been no complaints at the facility since it opened in 2009, Dr. Madeleine Biodolillo of the state Department of Public Health revealed that the current manager at Infusion Resource was a former employee of “Ameridose which owned by the same people who ran New England Compounding Center,” which is the facility that has been primarily responsible for the meningitis outbreak.

Dr. Biodolillo has not revealed what drugs or issues led to the closure of the facility, but she did reveal that the primary concern was sterility. After the inspected, the company voluntarily gave it up pharmacy license and Infusion Resource has agreed to contact forty patients and their doctors to request that they return unused medication. The company facility also had an area to “administer intravenous drugs, which it was not licensed to do.” Infusion Resource’s CEO stated the company will take immediate action to comply with the issues noted in the inspection. “No issues were cited relating to the integrity of our products nor to the quality of our compounding practices,” he said in a statement.

The inspection came weeks after a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis killed over twenty people and sickened more than 300. The tainted steroid has been linked to the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts and has forced public health officials in the state to crack down on several health facilities. Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner of the state Department of Public Heath stated that the five new inspectors will be added to the department to review all the compounding pharmacies by the end of the year. Prior to outbreak, compounding pharmacies were only inspected when they opened or moved or if the department received substantive complaints. She also said the state is taking steps to tighten reporting requirements for compounding pharmacies.

Mass. shuts down another compounding pharmacy, November 09, 2012.

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