Congress Wants More Regs on Custom Pharmaceuticals

Some Republican lawmakers say pharmacists who make personalized preparations of drugs are being hurt by too much federal regulations installed after a deadly scandal a few years ago.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., late last week introduced a bill seeking to stop federal regulations that the compounding pharmacy lobby says could derail shipment of vital drugs across state lines. If those regulations aren’t curbed, pharmacies complain, it will severely hinder their ability to get drugs to patients.

Compounding pharmacies make a personalized preparation of a drug. A pharmacist makes the preparation to a patient’s specific dosage and strength.

The industry came under heavy scrutiny in 2012, when the New England Compounding Center shipped allegedly tainted drugs all over the country. The products ended up infecting hundreds with fungal meningitis and killed more than 100 people.