New Oversight For Pharmacies After Meningitis Outbreak

Nov 19, 2013

More than a year after the fungal meningitis outbreak first hit, 22 Michiganders are dead and lawmakers in Washington have now passed a bill that's supposed to prevent a similar outbreak from happening again. 

The bill gives the FDA a way to oversee pharmacies that are making and shipping huge amounts of drugs. The Massachusetts clinic that started this meningitis outbreak was making lots of drugs, with little oversight.

Michigan Lawyer Alyson Oliver recalled her visit to the pharmacy early this year:

"The place was disgusting. I mean, they had a rodent problem because they had mouse traps around the facility, and we were greeted by a little guest in one of the traps," says Oliver. 

But under this new bill, the FDA oversight is completely optional for pharmacies. The pharmacies would have to want to flag themselves as big drug producers in order for the FDA to regulate them.

Critics say this new measure is not enough to stop another outbreak.