Hune bills to address recent fungal-meningitis-tainted steroids

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle

LANSING, Mich.— Senate Bills 704 and 904, sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, give the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 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 (NECC) 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 would require 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.”

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 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.

The bills now move to the full Senate for further consideration.