Under a federal legislation winning bipartisan support, the Food and Drug Administration would have greater oversight over large volume compounding pharmacies like the Massachusetts company that triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak.
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the Democratic chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, said the bill calls for a new system to track prescription drugs from manufacturing to distribution.
The FDA would be able to monitor the pharmacies much the way they regulate drug-makers, including through inspections. The system would replace what critics say is a patchwork of federal regulations over the pharmacies.
The bill was prompted by the 2012 meningitis outbreak tied to the New England Compounding Center that killed at least 64 people and sickened 750 more.