The Senate passed the Drug Quality and Security Act, which will give the Food and Drug Administration more power when it comes to policing drug compounding pharmacies, the New York Times reported. The bill does not give the FDA complete authority over pharmacies that compound drugs but provides the agency with new safeguards supported by public health advocates.
In 2012, a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts caused a meningitis outbreak due to tainted injectable drugs. According to the source, 751 people were sickened and 64 were killed as a result of the contaminated drugs. As a result, Congress drafted the bill shortly afterward to prevent future incidents.
"This bill will improve oversight of high-risk drug compounding," Senator Tom Harkin told the New York Times.
Companies that mass produce compounded drugs will be able to register with the FDA as an outsourcing facility thanks to the new bill and will be subject to rules regarding quality control and oversight, the source reported. Not all facilities will be required to register through the FDA, but some argue it will encourage drugmakers to do so as hospitals will likely feel safer working with those who have an FDA seal of approval.
The bill is good news for all aging adults, including those who turn to senior care services for assistance.