December 7, 2012

Health officials take action against three pharmacies

The Associated Press

BOSTON – Public health officials announced action Thursday against three compounding pharmacies after unannounced inspections that were ordered amid a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that was linked to another specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.

The Department of Public Health said board notices were sent last week to OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services of Waltham; Pallimed Solutions of Woburn; and The Whittier Pharmacist of Haverhill.

However, the agency noted that the board action against the three was not connected to the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, which was linked to the outbreak that federal health officials say killed 36 people and sickened more than 500.

That outbreak had been linked to contaminated steroid injections from the Framingham pharmacy, which has since closed.

The health department said:

• OncoMed had problems with the storage of chemotherapy drugs and was issued a cease-and-desist order.

• Pallimed was ordered to stop production of sildenafil citrate for human use after inspectors found it had been prepared with improper components. Sildenafil citrate is sold as Viagra.

• Whittier was issued a partial cease-and-desist order to halt sterile compounding operations. The agency did not specify any violations. The order is to remain in effect until changes are made to comply with federal standards.


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