Report finds lax oversight of specialty pharmacies
Congressional investigators say pharmacy boards in nearly all 50 states lack the information and expertise to oversee specialty pharmacies like the one that triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak last year.
A report released today by House Democrats shows that most states do not track or routinely inspect compounding pharmacies. Staffers surveyed officials in 50 states about their oversight of pharmacies and then compiled the responses.
The findings come as lawmakers debate how to prevent another outbreak like that caused by the New England Compounding Center, a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. Contaminated injections distributed by the company last year have killed more than 50 people and sickened hundreds more.
Compounding pharmacies, which mix customized medications based on doctors' prescriptions, have traditionally been overseen by state pharmacy boards. But the growth of larger compounding pharmacies like the NECC, which mass-produced and distributed thousands of vials of drugs across the U.S., has prompted calls for more federal oversight.
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