GOVERNMENT
2:32 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Gov. Patrick Proposes New Compounding Pharmacy Rules

Gov. Deval Patrick joined Jim Braude and Emily Rooney for Boston Public Radio's monthly Ask the Governor segment.
Mass. Gov. DevalPatrick gestures during a news conference regarding the Massachusetts pharmacy responsible for the meningitis outbreak during a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. The outbreak of meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, has sickened nearly 300 people, including 23 who died, in more than a dozen states.
Credit (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Gov. Deval Patrick is proposing tighter regulations on compounding pharmacies following last year's deadly meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts company.

Patrick said Friday he's filing a bill that would require compounding pharmacies obtain a special state license, create whistleblower protections for pharmacy workers, hire more inspectors and enforce new fines and penalties for compounding pharmacies that break the rules.

Patrick's bill would also mandate licenses for out-of-state pharmacies that do business in Massachusetts and require compounding pharmacies report to an overhauled 11-member oversight board whenever they come under investigation by other states or the federal government.

The outbreak linked to the New England Compounding Center has been blamed for 39 deaths and hundreds of illnesses nationwide.

The pharmacy is demanding its cleaning contractor take legal responsibility for the outbreak.