Markey bill would toughen specialty pharmacy rules

BOSTON (AP) — Congressman Edward Markey says he'll introduce legislation to toughen the oversight of compounding pharmacies similar to the Massachusetts company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.

A steroid sold by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham has been connected to the outbreak of 119 cases, including 11 deaths.

Compounding pharmacies custom-mix medications in doses or in forms that generally aren't commercially available.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Democrat said his legislation would ban such pharmacies from using ingredients not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The pharmacies would also have register with the FDA and comply with minimum safety standards.

Another provision would warn patients that compounded pharmaceuticals haven't been approved as safe and effective by the FDA.

Markey is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FDA.

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