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Visible fungus at meningitis-linked company

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts state officials say they found unclean conditions including visible black specks of fungus in steroids made by a pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of meningitis.

Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick said Tuesday the state has moved to revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center and three pharmacists.

State officials say a preliminary investigation found drugs were sent out before tests results on their sterility could be returned and a leaking boiler was located near a company clean room.

Officials also say the company operated as a drug manufacturer by producing drugs for broader use, rather than filling out specific prescriptions for specific doctors, which is all its license allowed.

More than 300 people have been sickened nationwide, and 23 have died. All had received contaminated steroid injections.

The company says it's cooperating with investigators.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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