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Health Official Fired Over Meningitis Outbreak

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts pharmacy board’s director has been fired for ignoring a complaint that a company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak was shipping drugs in bulk, in violation of its state license. The Colorado pharmacy board complained about the New England Compounding Center in July, before the third of three batches of tainted steroids linked to the outbreak was shipped. NECC was authorized only to fill prescriptions for specific patients. State officials said director James D. Coffey forwarded the complaint to the board’s attorney, Susan Manning, who also failed to act. Coffey has been fired and Manning placed on administrative leave. A state health and human services spokesman said neither Manning nor Coffey notified the state Department of Public Health about the complaint. The outbreak has spread to 19 states and killed 31 people.

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