IACP Launches Extensive Media Tour
In the months following the fungal meningitis outbreak, which has now left over 50 dead and more than 700 sickened, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) has proactively educated the media, public, and policymakers on the role of compounding pharmacy in our health care system.
As we work to increase understanding of the compounding profession, its high-quality standards, and code of ethics, the unsettling facts of this tragedy continue to be misunderstood.
Not only was the New England Compounding Center deemed an illegal drug manufacturer by its Board of Pharmacy – shipping hundreds of contaminated injectable medications across state lines – the FDA had the authority to take action against NECC well before it did harm. The FDA has authority to inspect all pharmacies, including compounders, as well as the Congressional authority to oversee and regulate prescription drug manufacturers.
To clarify this and many other misconceptions, IACP launched a national media tour, which to date has included interviews with the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, Boston Globe, New England Cable News, USA Today, Bloomberg News and The MetroWest Daily News. Our primary goal is to reinforce the industry’s reputation and role as a vital service that’s depended upon by millions of patients. In order to continue to meet the needs of patients and protect the public, we have recommended state regulation changes that will make compounded medications safer without restricting pharmacies’ ability to provide vital, and in some cases life-sustaining, medication to patients. If clarifications are needed to existing federal law, we are open to those discussions as well.
We believe state boards of pharmacy are the appropriate authorities to regulate compounding pharmacies because they are more familiar with state laws and regulations and are better able to catch potential problems sooner. IACP also believes that all states should adopt USP 795 and USP 797, as these standards reflect the very best in the practice of compounding pharmacy and will help ensure greater consistency in state oversight.
In order to prevent a future tragedy similar to the one at NECC, state boards of pharmacy need to have open communication with the FDA, as well as carry forward the enforcement of laws and regulations which protect the public. IACP will continue to advocate for changes and improvements to the state regulation of compounding pharmacies. IACP will keep our membership apprised of resulting media stories from this effort.
David G. Miller, RPh appears on the New England Cable News broadcast, April 22, 2013. Click here to view the broadcast.
IACP quoted regarding Senate compounding bill draft in Bloomberg News, April 26, 2013. Click here to view the article.
IACP Editorial in USA Today, April 28, 2013. Click here to view the editorial.