Senate to vote on specialty pharmacy crackdown

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is meeting on whether to advance a bill that would put under tighter oversight specialty pharmacies that custom-mix prescription drugs in large batches.

The legislation, passed by the House in September, also creates a national system for tracking prescription drugs from manufacturers to retail pharmacies. The bill has virtually unanimous support in the Senate, where a test vote on the measure was expected Tuesday. If it passes that chamber, President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The compounding pharmacy bill is intended to prevent a repeat of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened 750 more across the U.S. The sickness was traced to a now-closed pharmacy in Massachusetts, where inspectors found mold, standing water and other unsterile conditions.

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