State pharmacy boards back stricter federal oversight for some compounding pharmacies

WASHINGTON - State pharmacy officials on Thursday threw their support behind a proposal giving the Food and Drug Administration authority over large compounding pharmacies, in an effort to head off more outbreaks tied to contaminated medications.

The head of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy told Senate lawmakers that his group welcomes FDA action against pharmacies like the one that triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak last year. The group's endorsement is a key step in bringing stricter oversight to the compounding pharmacy industry, which has long operated in a grey area between state and federal regulation.

More than 50 people have died and over 700 others have been sickened by a wave of fungal infections linked to a large Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.