BOSTON (AP) - The second largest health insurer in Massachusetts has announced that it will no longer cover specialty medications known as compounded drugs, months after a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak was traced to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

The chief medical officer at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care says the policy stems from a safety review after the meningitis outbreak traced to tainted steroids produced at New England Compounding Center in Framingham that killed 58.

Dr. Michael Sherman tells The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/14yr7op ) that most of the insurance claims it received from patients for compounded drugs were for medications that should not be covered by a health insurer.

The coverage ends Aug. 7, but Harvard Pilgrim will consider appeals on a case by case basis.

The decision drew fire from pharmacists and patient advocates.


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