Pharmacists would have less say in regulating their profession, and the state could for the first time fine rule-breaking druggists under legislation Governor Deval Patrick proposed Friday to prevent a repeat of the fungal meningitis outbreak blamed on a Framingham specialty pharmacy.
The legislation would require a special license for pharmacies that do sterile compounding of injectable and intravenous drugs, as did New England Compounding Center, the company that produced tainted steroids linked to more than 650 illnesses and at least 39 deaths. Out-of-state pharmacies that distribute medications in Massachusetts would have to be licensed in Massachusetts, not just in their home states.
Patrick’s plan is based in part on recommendations of a special commission he appointed in October after the national outbreak came to light. But he bucked the panel in urging that pharmacists make up only a minority of the board that licenses and disciplines them and sets rules for the profession.
The commission’s proposed changes, also announced Friday, included increasing the required number of pharmacists on the 11-member board from five to six; however, Patrick would set that number at four.
Under his proposal, other members of the board would include a nurse, a physician, a pharmacy technician, a quality improvement officer, and three members of the public.
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