Mass. gov. orders surprise pharmacy inspections

BOB SALSBERG Associated Press Published:

BOSTON (AP) -- The governor of Massachusetts is ordering surprise inspections of certain pharmacies after one was linked to a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak.

Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick says he's requiring the state's 25 compounding pharmacies to have unannounced inspections at least once a year.

Compounding pharmacies specialize in customizing doses for patients who have allergies or need smaller amounts.

A state health department spokesman says the first such inspection was Tuesday. He won't reveal the name of the facility and says results of the inspection are being reviewed.

Steroid shots from a compounding center just west of Boston are suspected in the meningitis outbreak, which has sickened more than 300 people. Twenty-three people have died.