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US death toll from meningitis increases

It’s become a health crisis… officials say as many as 13,000 people could have received contaminated steroid shots that has resulted in a national meningitis outbreak.

Today, the number of people sickened in the outbreak reached over a hundred. Investigators are pointing the blame on a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts where a steroid medication was produced. and more than 17,000 vials of the steroid were sent to 23 states. Inspectors now say they have found at least one sealed vial contaminated with fungus.

Investigators say its unclear how the steroids became contaminated with fungus, but the outbreak is highlighting a well-known practice in America, where physicians and clinics are increasingly getting material from compounding pharmacies that sell drugs at a much lower cost than major drug manufacturers, creating customized medication solutions for patients. According to the International Academy of Compounding an estimated 56,000 U.S. pharmacies across the country practice compounding.

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