Pharmaceuticals

Maryland Pharmaceutical Regulator Rejects Calls for Federal Involvement

A meningitis scare has the usual suspects calling for more federal involvement

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The state board that regulates Maryland pharmacies like the Massachusetts firm under investigation in a national fungal meningitis outbreak said it can adequately oversee so-called compounding pharmacies, despite cries from critics that the federal government should have more authority.

The Maryland Board of Pharmacy said last week that in the last four years it has beefed up oversight of compounding pharmacies, which make drugs not sold commercially. New safeguards including random, annual inspections would make it hard for a Maryland facility to reach the level of contamination problems found at the New England Compounding Center, said Laverne Naesea, the board's executive director.