A Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak is now demanding that the cleaning contractor hired to maintain the facilities take legal responsibility. According to a USA Today article, the outbreak resulted in 39 deaths and hundreds of illnesses nationwide.

Following the outbreak and NECC's finger-pointing, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed tighter regulations that would require compounding pharmacies to obtain a special state license that he said would make it easier for regulators to hold them accountable. The suggested bill would also create whistle-blower protections for pharmacy workers and enforce new fines and penalties for compounding pharmacies that break the rules. The goal of this bill is to keep closer tabs on the pharmaceutical industry.

The cleaning contractor, UniFirst, says the claims are without merit. Workers cleaned to the specifications of NECC — once-a-month cleaning for 90 minutes each and using NECC's own specified cleaning solution.

A spokesperson for UniFirst commented, "UniClean was not in any way responsible for NECC's day-to-day operations, its overall facility cleanliness, or the integrity of the products they produced."

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