House committee passes bill regulating compounding pharmacies

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Preventing a repeat of a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak through a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy was the purpose of a bill approved unanimously by a House committee Monday.

Rep. Jimmy Patronis sponsored HB 7077, which would impose registration requirements and standards for “compounding pharmacies” which make medications tailored to the needs of individual patients.

Compounding pharmacies are located in other states but sell medicines in Florida. The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee approved the bill.

In praising the bill, Democrat Rep. Elaine Schwartz said it was a “public safety issue,” but then raised a question about one part of the bill allowing Florida health officials to travel to those out-of-state pharmacies for inspections.

Patronis responded by saying the pharmacies would be responsible for costs for any such inspections.

“We had to at least put the what-if factor in place,” Patronis said about the potential for conducting inspections.

Compounding pharmacies became a national issue in 2012, when tainted drugs produced at the New England Compounding Center resulted in hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis in several states including Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.