If you are a woman going through perimenopause, and you are also currently using bioidentical hormones compounded in a compounding pharmacy, then this article is for you.
Before I tell you what S.959 is, why it is currently being debated in the Senate, and why you should care, it’s important to understand the back story.
You might remember, this time last year, there was a fungal meningitis outbreak in the United States. The outbreak occurred because The New England Compounding Center in Farmington, MA, shipped 17,000 vials of a contaminated injectable steroid, used to treat back pain, to patients in 23 states.
To date, 50 people have died from the outbreak. Many others continue to manifest symptoms from the contaminated steroid, and the death toll could continue to rise.
As a result of the health scandal, federal lawmakers across the country immediately began to call for more federal regulation over compounding pharmacies. On its face, more regulation, meant to protect and ensure the safety of public health, is not a bad thing. However, as you might know, anytime the federal government gets involved in anything, bureaucratic red tape and inefficiency is a guaranteed outcome.
Currently, compounding pharmacies are under the regulatory oversight of State Boards of Pharmacy. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, founded in 1904, supports state boards of pharmacy by ensuring there are uniform regulations from state to state, and that compounding pharmacists are licensed and accredited through national licensing and accreditation programs.
Simply put, compounding pharmacies are not allowed, nor have they ever been, to operate without regulatory controls and oversight, all meant to protect public health and safety. So why then, is senate bill S.959 even necessary?
The only explanation I have is that federal lawmakers believe they are better able to regulate and oversee public health and safety. I happen to disagree. Particularly when you take into consideration that the bill, as it is written, will not only increase regulations (which frankly, are not needed), but will also give the FDA power to decide which medications can and cannot be compounded – and therein lies the problem.
With the struggle that continues to go on between the pharmaceutical industry – who would rather that consumers have no other options but the drugs they manufacture – and compounding pharmacies, et al, wanting to provide healthier options to consumers, it becomes very easy to see why we should care about this bill.
While I do not have a problem with the FDA regulating food and drugs in general. I do have a problem with them deciding whether I can have access to bioidentical hormones compounded by a compounding pharmacy or not. And you should too.
If you wish to let your congressman or congress woman know how you feel about bill S.959, you can go here to this website: www.mymedsmatter.com and send an email voicing your opinion.
Even if you do not care if compounding pharmacies are allowed to operate without a federal regulatory stranglehold, you can still speak up on behalf of women like yourself or others whom you might know that do care.