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Report finds lax oversight of specialty pharmacies

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Fungal menigitis tainted steroid shots. Fungal menigitis tainted steroid shots. Image source: ABC News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - A congressional investigation finds that specialty pharmacies like the one that triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak last year have little state oversight.

   The report being released Monday by House Democrats shows that most states do not track or routinely inspect compounding pharmacies and that pharmacy boards in nearly all 50 states lack the information and expertise they need.

   Missouri and Mississippi were the only two states that require permits or licenses and also the only ones with complete data on how many facilities they had.

   None of the states indicated that they track whether pharmacies sell compounded drugs across state lines or in large quantities. Twenty-two states said they do not keep histories of problems.

   Compounding pharmacies mix customized medications based on doctors' prescriptions. There have been calls for more federal oversight.

 

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