New England Pharmacy Center, the compounding pharmacy responsible for preparing contaminated medications that ultimately sickened over 700 people in 20 states and caused 64 deaths (this blog Oct, 9, 2012) has gone into bankruptcy. According to a New York Times report, the bankruptcy settlement establishes a fund of approximately $100 million that will be used to compensate victims and their relatives.

This closes the book on a tragic accident that didn’t need to happen. As a result of this case, it came to light that many of today’s compounding pharmacies prepare medications for wide distribution to hospitals and doctors across state lines, while the regulation of pharmacies falls to the individual states’ pharmacy boards. There have been calls for national oversight of compounding pharmacies by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but so far the oversight is essentially voluntary (this blog Oct. 16, 2013).

We’ll hope there is not another tragic event in the future. Unfortunately, that may be what it takes before there is a stronger outcry for serious national oversight of compounding pharmacies that sell across state lines.

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