Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stronger pharmacy laws could save lives

About 18 months ago, Michigan became "ground zero" in a fungal meningitis outbreak that claimed 19 lives and injured more than 260 patients in our state alone.
The culprit: tainted steroid drugs manufactured in Massachusetts by a compounding pharmacy and distributed in spinal injections at various medical facilities in four Michigan counties, including a pain clinic in Brighton.
Compounding pharmacies mix and assemble pharmaceuticals to create medicine needed by a patient but not commercially available in the dose or format required.
Meanwhile, a new federal law was passed to ensure greater oversight, but its rules are still being written. In Michigan, a Brighton-area lawmaker is leading the charge to tighten state rules through its own pharmacy board.
As Chris Gautz reports on Page 29, if patients are injured or die because the new rules aren't followed, the proposed law would impose felony charges and possible prison sentences.
Compounding pharmacies can offer many patients a safe alternative to stronger doses or ingredients they may be allergic to that are found in commercially available drugs. They can also create medications that are found to be in short supply.
The proposed legislation would require inspections and a "pharmacist-in-charge" responsible for quality control.
Reputable businesses should have no problems with the proposed legislation.
quoted from here

No comments: