The director of the state pharmacy board, James D. Coffey, has been fired and the board’s attorney, Susan Manning, has been placed on administrative leave for allegedly ignoring a complaint in July that New England Compounding Center was distributing bulk shipments of drugs to hospitals in Colorado, in violation of its state licenses, Massachusetts health officials announced Wednesday.
New England Compounding is the Framingham pharmacy blamed for a national outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by contaminated steroids it produced between May and August of this year.
The Colorado Board of Pharmacy contacted Coffey on July 26 about the problem, and Coffey forwarded the information to Manning and department inspectors but failed to order an investigation, Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, said in a statement.
She said the director is the person responsible for ordering investigations.
“It is incomprehensible that Mr. Coffey and Ms. Manning did not act on the Colorado complaint given NECC’s past, and their responsibility to investigate complaints,” Smith said.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week