The New York Times is reporting that lawmakers in the federal government are attempting to pass a bill that would require compounding pharmacies like the New England Compounding Center, responsible for the recent meningitis outbreak, be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration just as drug manufacturers are. Further, those drugs produced by compounding centers would be required to be labeled as so.
The New England Compounding Center, based in Framingham, Massachusetts has come under intense scrutiny since it was discovered as the source of a fungal meningitis outbreak connected to steroid injections it administered. The proposed law comes in response to the outbreak in the hopes of stopping something similar happening in the future.
So far, twenty-nine people have died as result of the outbreak, the latest death occurring in Virginia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has confirmed a total of 404 meningitis cases across the country connected with the contaminated drugs.
Fungal meningitis is an infection of the tissues that line the spinal cord and brain and can lead to death. Symptoms of an infection may include vomiting, fever, headache and sensitivity to light.