Three compounding pharmacies found to have problems in how they prepared or stored drugs have received cease-and-desist notices from the state Department of Public Health, as part of its ongoing surprise inspections of pharmacies that prepare sterile drugs used in injections. But none of their products has been recalled.
At the same time, the state announced Thursday the appointment of three new pharmacy board members from a variety of health care backgrounds and said a commission that plans to make recommendations to Governor Deval Patrick by the end of the month is considering changes in the board’s structure that could ensure that more members come from outside the pharmacy industry.
“The issues that were identified did not necessitate a recall; it was more around some of the production approaches,” said Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “At this point, the rationale for interrupting or requiring the pharmacies to cease their operations is so the investigation can continue.”
The state began the unannounced inspections after contaminated steroids produced by New England Compounding Center of Framingham were blamed for the national meningitis outbreak, which has resulted in at least 36 deaths. In October, regulators issued a cease-and-desist order to Infusion Resource, a Waltham compounding pharmacy. That company is still closed, and the investigation is ongoing, a spokesman for the state health agency said.
Todd Brown, executive director of the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association, said only a small number of his members do sterile compounding.
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