Pharmacy in meningitis outbreak touted cleanliness

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BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak blamed for 28 deaths sent customers a "Quality Assurance Report Card" shortly before the outbreak touting the cleanliness of its labs, even though internal tests showed widespread contamination.

The Boston Globe reports that charts sent to customers of the Framingham-based New England Compounding Center show that early this year there were no instances of contamination exceeding accepted standards on surfaces in "clean rooms," where the company produced sterile injectable medications.

But during that same period, the company's own internal testing showed that 33 surface samples from the clean rooms contained bacteria or mold at levels requiring corrective action, according to company records. The results were disclosed in a report released Friday by federal investigators.

A company spokesman had no comment.


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