Hune bills addressing recent fungal-meningitis-tainted steroids pass House committee

For Immediate Release
June 10, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle

LANSING, Mich.—Measures to reform pharmacy licensing methods when a public health risk is present passed the House Committee on Regulatory Reform Tuesday.

Senate Bills 704 and 904, sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, give the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) the ability to immediately suspend a pharmacy license when there is an imminent risk to public health, safety or welfare.

“After the tainted fungal meningitis steroid shots that were distributed by the New England Compounding Center affected so many families in our state, this legislation was created to hold people accountable for such incompetence,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “This is the least we can do for the victims and their families.”

The legislation requires that all pharmacies have a “pharmacist-in-charge” who is licensed and responsible for ensuring the pharmacy follows state laws and regulations. It requires pharmacists to keep better records of compound sterile pharmaceuticals in the same manner and for the same retention period as prescribed for other prescription records.

“Better record management practices as well as registries of dangerous drugs will help ensure that these drugs don’t make their way into the wrong hands,” Hune said. “Stiffer penalties including felonies will also be levied for violators of the measures.”

LARA will be in charge of the oversight of the new pharmaceutical requirements. The department could immediately revoke the authorization if there were a confirmed deviation or violation of the compounding process, or if an adverse event associated with a compounded pharmaceutical were detected.

Hune said he look forward to the support from his colleagues in the House and the governor’s swift approval.