The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved tougher state regulations for drug compounding pharmacies Wednesday, in the wake of a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed dozens, according to an Associated Press report on CBS Boston.
Back in January Governor Deval Patrick said he would propose tighter regulations on compounding pharmacies following the 2012 deadly meningitis outbreak linked to Framingham’s New England Compounding Center.
The bill was introduced by lawmakers back in July and included unannounced inspections of compounding pharmacies, new reporting requirements and whistleblower protections.
According to the Boston Herald, the bill would also require any pharmacist who prepares injectable and other medications that must be sterile to take continuing education classes. State health officials would also be required to alert federal regulators about any side effects patients may suffer while taking medications made by compounding pharmacies.
Federal investigators found widespread evidence of mold and other contamination when they visited New England Compounding Center in October, 2012, after Governor Deval Patrick established the Commission on Pharmacy Compounding, as part of the administration’s response to the outbreak.
A week before Christmas in 2012, New England Compounding Center filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Framingham pharmacy closed, surrendered its license, and recalled its products.It was discovered that patients who received a steroid injection linked to New England Compounding Center in Framingham were contracting fungal meningitis, upwards of 60 people died and more than 700 were infected.