NORMAN — The Oklahoma Senate recently approved legislation that will require out-of-state compounding pharmacies that deliver, dispense or distribute prescription drugs in Oklahoma to submit an affidavit and pharmacy site inspection form to receive a license.
Sen. Rob Standridge, R- Norman, author of Senate Bill 522, said the legislation could prevent the sort of tragedy that occurred last year when a Massachusetts pharmacy was linked to more than 300 fungal meningitis infections and 23 deaths. The Boston Globe subsequently reported that just four of 37 specialty pharmacies passed surprise health inspections following the incident.
“This legislation is an important regulatory step to provide patients and the public with greater protection against potential tragedy,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “Under this legislation, the board will have the ability to oversee pharmacies in other states that may not operate by the same stringent standards that ours do. These requirements will assure compliance and safety — a good thing for consumers and the public.”
SB 522 will only apply to out-of-state sterile compounding pharmacies. Such pharmacies provide compounded medications not available from pharmaceutical drug companies.
“Our Board of Pharmacy and all our pharmacy owners should be applauded for operating at the highest standards, particularly in sterile compounding,” Standridge said. “This measure gives our board the ability to assure that out-of-state pharmacies are held to the same standard.”
Approved by a vote of 42-0, SB 522 now advances to the House for consideration.