Massachusetts regulators have yanked the licenses of scores of pharmacists in recent years, according to a Globe analysis of national disciplinary data, giving them a track record not out of line with other states, even as they repeatedly failed to discipline the Framingham compounding pharmacy now blamed for a deadly US outbreak of fungal meningitis.
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy revoked or suspended the licenses of 138 of the more than 11,000 licensed pharmacists in the state during the six years preceding June 2011. That is more than many other states, according to data collected by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Overall, Massachusetts ranked in the middle of states in terms of the number of such actions it took per 1,000 pharmacists during that period, though some years it ranked higher or lower.
A review of how the board compares with its counterparts nationally also shows that it is significantly less transparent, failing to provide on its website the most basic information about its members and does not routinely announce board discipline and other actions. It does not produce an annual report as do many other states.
It also failed, until this week, to conduct unannounced inspections, something at least 10 other states have routinely done. But many of the board’s regulations are similar to those in other states, requiring pharmacies to comply with industry safety standards.
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