Health | Nation

Special Pharmacies Suspected In Meningitis Outbreak

NPR | Oct. 11, 2012 4:38 p.m.

Contributed By:

Richard Knox

The tainted drug believed to have caused 170 cases of rare fungal meningitis and 14 deaths came from a so-called “compounding pharmacy” in Massachusetts. But this is no corner drugstore. It’s one of dozens of industrial-scale companies that mix and ship drugs nationally. They operate under old-fashioned rules that require pharmacies to custom-mix medications for individual patients on a prescription-by-prescription basis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration largely leaves regulation of these pharmacies to each of the 50 states but now many experts say it has to change.

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