KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Fla. Suspends Compounding Pharmacy As Report Slams Lax Oversight

The fallout from a deadly meningitis outbreak continues as Florida suspends operations at one compounding pharmacy, while a report finds state oversight of the facilities lacking.

Reuters: Florida Health Department Suspended Compounding Pharmacy
The Florida Department of Health has temporarily suspended compounding operations at a pharmacy, the latest in a growing number of closings since a deadly meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated drugs in a Massachusetts facility. The Florida pharmacy, based in Boca Raton and called Rejuvi Pharmaceuticals, prepares injectable drugs and medications. The Florida health department said in a statement that it violated "a number" of statutes and rules (Humer, 10/29).

The Baltimore Sun: Report Finds State Oversight Of Compounding Pharmacies Lax
Massachusetts closed another compounding pharmacy for unsanitary conditions, a report released Monday argued that the state boards that regulate those pharmacies are doing an inadequate job. Released by Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey, the report stems from the national fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a steroid from the New England Compounding Center that has sickened 354 people in 19 states and killed 25. In Maryland, 20 people have been sickened and one has died (Walker, 10/29).

And in related news from Capitol Hill -

The Hill: House Dem Slams Drug Compounders In New Report
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) released a report that chronicles the rise of compounders, which remix medicines for patients with special needs, and the patchwork of regulations that applies to them. Markey's report alleges that at least 23 patients have died and 86 have been seriously sickened or injured as a result of medications distributed by compounding pharmacies in recent decades. The report builds a case for stricter Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over compounders and charges the industry with evading attempts at oversight (Viebeck, 10/29).

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