Response to Meningitis Outbreak linked to Massachusetts Company

State Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn) announces the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed H.3672, An Act relative to pharmacy practices in the Commonwealth, on Wednesday, October 2, 2013.   The legislation was developed in response to the 2012 Meningitis Outbreak, linked to contaminated drugs produced at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham. The bill aims to increase oversight of compounding pharmacies, improve quality and safety standards, and establish transparency and accountability practices for compounding pharmacies in the Commonwealth.

Pharmacy compounding, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “is a practice in which a licensed pharmacist combines, mixes, or alters ingredients in response to a prescription to create a medication tailored to the medical needs of an individual patient. Pharmacy compounding, if done properly, can serve an important public health need if a patient cannot be treated with an FDA-approved medication.”

Rep. Frost commented, “It is important we pass this legislation to help prevent anything like this from happening again from a compounding pharmacy in our state. The meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts company impacted people throughout the country.  Better oversight and stronger safety standards certainly need to be in place as anyone who is taking medication should feel confident it was created and packaged in a sterile and clean environment.”  Frost continued, “People shouldn’t have to be worried about catching a disease from taking medications which are meant to improve their health.  I’m glad to have joined both Democrats and Republicans in voting for this important public safety and public health legislation.”