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State lets hospitals share medications to ease shortages

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Massachusetts public health regulators gave final approval Wednesday to regulations that allow hospitals to share medications to address drug shortages worsened by the closure of two specialty pharmacies following last fall’s national outbreak of fungal meningitis. The rules adopted by the state’s Public Health Council allow the state health commissioner to grant long-term approval for certain hospitals, such as rural or small health care facilities, to receive compounded medications from larger hospitals. Compounded medications are specially prepared to meet the specific needs of a patient. State regulations had prohibited hospitals from sharing medications, and emergency rules approved in November allowed only for temporary waivers of that rule.
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