State Regulators Cracking Down On Compounding Pharmacies

State Regulators Cracking Down On Compounding Pharmacies

By Jennifer Kraus. CREATED Jun 12, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State regulators said they are taking further steps to protect you from tainted medication, specifically, drugs made at compounding pharmacies.

Officials said this comes after serious problems at two compounding pharmacies including one in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy announced Wednesday that it is increasing its efforts to make sure the drugs produced by compounding pharmacies licensed by the state of Tennessee are both safe and sterile.

Last month, there was an outbreak caused by tainted medicine from the Main Street Pharmacy in the west Tennessee town of Newbern. So far, at least 20 people have gotten sick from steroid shots produced by that pharmacy.

Last year, there were contaminated drugs produced at the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts that killed 55 people, including 15 here in Tennessee.

The Pharmacy Board said it will expedite the suspension of sterile compounding by a pharmacy when a serious problem is discovered, meaning the Board and the department of Health will no longer have to wait for a full board meeting to pull a license.

The Board said there will be more oversight and regulation of drug manufacturing in the state. The Board will also work more closely with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and require pharmacies to prove that they're registered with the FDA.

Officials said they will also be adding a sterile compounding registration to the regular pharmacy license. Additionally, the Board has hired three additional inspectors who will focus on doing critical reviews of pharmacies' maintenance records and quality control reports.

Tennessee's Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner said, "The actions taken by the Pharmacy Board will move the state forward in assuring the safety and availability of important medications."

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Jennifer Kraus

Jennifer Kraus

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Jennifer Kraus is NewsChannel 5's Weekend Morning Anchor and a member of NewsChannel 5's award-winning Investigative Team.