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In Outbreak Wake, Patrick Proposes New Compounding Pharmacy Rules

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick is proposing tighter regulations on compounding pharmacies following last year’s deadly meningitis outbreak linked to a Framingham company.

Patrick said Friday he’s filing a bill that would require compounding pharmacies to 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.

As part of the overhaul, Patrick wants more professional perspectives on the Board of Registration in Pharmacy.

“The board’s governing authority has not kept up with an industry that has evolved from corner drugstores to the types of large manufacturers that have been at the center of so much harm,” he said.

“Together these changes can ensure that the significant harms that we have seen from substandard compounding never happen again,” Patrick said.

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.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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