Rep. Calter and Rep. Cutler help pass overhaul of state’s compounding pharmacies | Pharmacy | Patient Safety

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 2, 2013

Contact: 617-722-2014

Rep. Calter and Rep. Cutler help pass overhaul of state’s compounding pharmacies
Sweeping reforms greatly enhance patient safety and increase transparency procedures BOSTON—State Rep. Tom Calter and Rep. Josh Cutler joined their colleagues in the House this week to pass legislation that will increase the oversight of compounding pharmacies, improve quality and safety standards in the Commonwealth, and establish rigorous transparency and accountability practices for compounding pharmacies across the state. The unanimous vote distinguishes Massachusetts as the first state to pass comprehensive legislation relative to compounding pharmacies. The bill addresses a previous lack of consistent standards, at both a state and federal level, governing the operations of specialty pharmacies engaged in sterile compounding. This legislation was carefully crafted following the 2012 meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated drugs produced at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. “This bi-partisan legislation will help make sure that Massachusetts is doing all it can to require the highest standards of safety, transparency and oversight from our compounding pharmacy industry,” said Rep. Calter. “We hope these commonsense reforms will help set a national standard so that no individual is again affected by the kind of negligence we saw in 2012 with the meningitis outbreak in Framingham,” said Rep. Cutler. This compounding pharmacy bill modernizes pharmacy oversight while enhancing patient access to critical medications. The legislation addresses the unique needs of this industry through the following provisions: • • Establishes a specialty license for all in-state and out-of-state sterile compounding pharmacies; Requires the Department of Public Health to track all sterilely compounded drugs made by state-licensed pharmacies;

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Requires the Department of Public Health to collect and analyze data on adverse events tied to pharmaceuticals; Creates an online database listing pharmacies that have prepared drugs resulting in adverse effects; Mandates unannounced, detailed inspections of all sterile compounding pharmacies; Requires state pharmacy inspectors to be specially trained and to take continuing education classes; Requires that compounded medications are clearly labeled; Mandates pharmacies to report the type and volume of compound drug production; Reforms the composition of the State Board of Pharmacy; Requires increased communications between prescribers, pharmacies, government officials and patients, including a support hotline for patients; Ensures that state and national agencies communicate on oversight and potential problems.

The House voted 155-0 to pass the bill, which now moves to the Senate. -30-

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