BOSTON (WWLP) – After unanimous approval from both the Massachusetts House and Senate, Governor Patrick signed a bill giving the State Board of Pharmacy more control over drug compounding centers.
The new law creates new state licensing for sterile, complex non-sterile, hospital and out-of-state pharmacies. It will also authorize stiffer fines and penalties if laws are broken and requires clear-cut product labeling on sterile and non-sterile drugs. Compounding pharmacies typically custom-mix medications. Their standards are not as high as drug manufacturers who are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration – leaving a grey area in authority.
“I think this not only closes that gap, but and clarifies it for Massachusetts, but it sets a standard for other states,” said Governor Patrick after the bill signing.
The new law comes after tainted drugs from a Framingham, Massachusetts-based compounding center spread a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and made more than 700 people seriously ill.
“We tried to make sure that we were as diligent as possible to reflect and respect the lives that were lost as the result of the irresponsibility and the bad behavior of one company and that’s New England Compounding Center,” said State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Committee on Public Health).