Chances are, most people hadn’t heard of compounding pharmacies until a deadly national meningitis outbreak last year was traced back to one such facility in Massachusetts. Following a federal crackdown, Florida lawmakers took steps today toward imposing additional restrictions on compounding pharmacies that ship medicine into the Sunshine State.
The new regulations would apply to roughly 300 compounding pharmacies shipping injectable medicine to Florida. Pharmacists used to combine and alter drugs themselves, but these facilities can manufacture larger batches. After the House Health Quality Subcommittee passed the measure unanimously, Chair Ken Roberson said it could save lives.
“This is really an important issue," he said. "There was, I think, seven deaths in the state of Florida last year on this very issue. So this is an effort to address this public safety concern and tighten up the rules and regulations.”
The bill allows the Florida Department of Health to inspect out-of-state compounding pharmacies and punish them or revoke their licenses for noncompliance. The cost of the inspection would be charged to the facilities.
Rep. Jimmy Patronis (R-Panama City) said, “It will for them be a cost of business of doing business in Florida simply because of the actions of last year and bringing awareness that we do need to have our citizens’ welfare in mind."
The bill goes now to the full House.