Meningitis Outbreak Blamed for 24 Deaths

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The deadly fungal meningitis outbreak linked to tainted steroid shots has now claimed 24 lives and sickened more than 325 people.

The tainted shots came from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. Now Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the state is taking steps to make sure another outbreak does not occur.

"The Pharmacy Board will immediately start periodic, unannounced inspections of compounding pharmacies that prepare sterile, injectable medications such as those directly linked to the outbreak," Patrick said. "These pharmacies will be inspected at least annually and more frequently in a case of a substantiated complaint."

The New England Compounding Center is the pharmacy that made the tainted steroid used to treat back pain.

The Food and Drug Administration does not apply strict regulations to compounding pharmacies.

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