Florida Should Regulate Compounding Pharmacies
Our firm has been working on behalf of dozens of our clients who were injected by tainted steroids that were shipped to Florida by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts. Those tainted steroids were the cause of a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis and other serious conditions like bone infections and epidural abscesses. While the NECC seems to bear a good portion of the blame for this tragic situation, a lack of regulation surely contributed to this problem. We have written here previously about federal regulation of compounding pharmacies, and whether the FDA could have taken action to prevent the illness and death that was caused by the contaminated steroids from NECC.
What about Florida? What could our state have done to regulate the quality of drugs being sent to Florida doctors by out-of-state compounders? As it turns out, the State of Florida could not have done anything at all. NECC had a “Florida non-resident license” that allowed them to ship drugs into our state, but our state law grants no authority to state health officials to regulate non-resident pharmacies. Even more alarming, Florida’s Department of Health has no record of which of the nearly 8,000 pharmacies in Florida are compounding drugs. There is no such thing as a “compounding pharmacy” permit in Florida, so it is unknown how many of our state’s pharmacies are compounding drugs on-site. It is urgent that these regulatory loopholes be closed immediately at both the state and federal level, before quasi-legal and unsanitary conditions like those at NECC lead to another public health crisis. If you or a loved one were the recipient of tainted epidural steroid injections, contact Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter today for a free initial consultation. We would be glad to answer any of your questions regarding your potential legal claims.