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New law increases oversight of compounding pharmacies

AP

The Massachusetts Legislature has passed a bill intended to crack down on compounding pharmacies, which came under scrutiny after a now- defunct Framingham pharmacy made tainted drugs that were blamed for killing 64 people and sickening hundreds more in 2012.

The new law would increase oversight and create comprehensive and uniform standards governing the pharmacies’ operation, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and other lawmakers said in a joint statement.

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“This legislation ensures that we are doing all we can to guarantee the highest standards of safety, oversight, and transparency for compounding pharmacies,” DeLeo said in the statement.

The New England Compounding Center in Framingham made the tainted pain medications that sickened people in 20 states.

The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.

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The Globe reported in May that bankruptcy lawyers had reached a settlement that is worth more than $100 million with insurers and the family that owned the pharmacy, in a deal that paved the way for eventually providing compensation to the victims.

Federal investigators are continuing to consider bringing criminal charges against anyone responsible for selling the tainted drugs, the Globe reported.

Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@
globe.com
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