Opinion: Compounding pharmacies need stricter federal oversight

Compounding pharmacies are not bartenders mixing a gin and tonic. They produce essentially new drugs. The regulatory loophole that allows compounders to avoid necessary federal scrutiny must be closed.

Millions of Americans use compounded drugs created by a pharmacist or physician who combines, mixes, or changes a drug’s ingredients to meet individuals’ needs. They trust the 7,500 or so compounding pharmacies that do this work.

That trust is sometimes misplaced. In 2012, for example, contaminated steroid painkillers mass-produced by the now-defunct New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., and sickened more than 750 others . Barry Cadden, the center’s president, and Glenn Chin, a pharmacist,

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