Bill Would Regulate Re-Packaging Meds at Clinics
[MMA News Now, March 14, 2013] A bill from the Board of Pharmacy that would redefine drug compounding is making its way through the House and Senate. As introduced, the bill would severely restrict physicians from re-packaging often-used medications that are administered at their clinics.
The House bill (HF 1136) being referred to as the drug compounding bill, was introduced March 4 by Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester). The following day, Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) introduced a similar bill (SF 1081).
“As introduced this legislation would have affected clinics that perform in-office procedures, especially specialty practices such ophthalmologists, dermatologists, pain specialists and otolaryngologists,” said Dave Renner, MMA’s director of state and federal legislation.
Many of these clinics buy medications in bulk and then re-package them on site in specific dosages for patients. The original bill would have made this practice illegal and forced physicians to go the extra step of going through a pharmacy.
“We have worked very closely with Rep. Liebling to narrow this bill to address any risks to patient care but not outlaw practices that have been providing high quality care to patients for years,” Renner said.
The legislation also proposes that pharmacies and drug manufacturers from outside Minnesota work with the state’s Board of Pharmacy to prove that they have addressed any issues that have occurred with their products in the past two years.
The legislation comes on the heels of last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak that resulted from an infected batch of steroids distributed by New England Compounding Center. Twelve Minnesotans and hundreds more across the country were affected. The outbreak led to the death of 50 people, though none were from Minnesota.