Senate Bill Passes? Well, Yes and No
Emails and phone calls started flying on Thursday of this week as New England compounding pharmacists awoke to press reports that the Senate had passed comprehensive compounding legislation. It didn't take long for articles and notes to appear on listserves and bulletin boards and phone calls and questions to arrive at the IACP offices.
Yes, on Wednesday night, the Senate in Massachusetts finally acted on compounding legislation. That bill, SB 1899, was a complete replacement of a bill passed previously by the Massachusetts House (HB 3672) and represents the tenth different piece of legislation to regulate compounding in the Commonwealth since the beginning of the year. At this point, the epicenter of the NECC crisis has yet to pass any legislation affecting compounding while almost all other states in the country have either completed their legislation and are beginning regulation drafting or moved directly to updating existing regulations. And things don't look good for any change in that for a while. In SB 1899, the Senate decided to exempt hospitals from new requirements for sterile compounding permits, inspections, and Board of Pharmacy oversight; the House version of the bill required all pharmacies to comply. Both bills appear headed to a conference committee.
Meanwhile, in Washington DC. HR 3204, the Drug Quality and Security Act, still awaits action by the U.S. Senate. No vote was taken this week as legislators grapple with the ongoing problems associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, contention over proposed nominees, and a series of highly controversial amendments unrelated to compounding that have been offered up by various Senate offices.