BOSTON (WWLP) - A nationwide meningitis outbreak has claimed another life; bringing the death toll to 25. Now the public can weigh in on how the state could have stopped the disease from spreading.
State Senate leaders have announced plans to hold public hearings to review how a national meningitis outbreak began at a Framingham pharmacy.
In a statement, Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said that the Senate wants to "take immediate action to assess what state laws and regulations need to be in place to ensure the public's health and safety." The hearings are a bipartisan effort to improve standards and procedures at compounding pharmacies. The announcement comes days after Governor Deval Patrick promised more oversight over drug compounding labs in Massachusetts.
"It's time in my view to upgrade our practices. Accordingly, I have directed the Board of Pharmacy as follows: First, the Pharmacy Board will immediately start periodic, unannounced inspections of compounding pharmacies," Patrick said.
The Governor says that Massachusetts has some of the strictest regulations on compounding pharmacies in the country, but traditionally the federal government oversees their sales over state lines.
He believes a joint effort between federal authorities and the state is needed to ensure these pharmacies are producing safe medical products.