Budget Cuts Reduce Oversight Of Texas Pharmacies

Nov 4, 2012

Budget cuts have reduced the number of pharmacies in Texas whose compounded drugs are tested to ensure patient safety.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the Texas State Board of Pharmacy warned four years ago that there needed to be more testing of such drugs. The request said problems with the products "could have dramatic and potentially life-threatening effects."

But since 2010, the number of pharmacies subjected to tests by the agency has dropped from 65 to 21, the newspaper says.

Compounded drugs are those mixed at individual pharmacies. They have come under scrutiny after federal regulators linked an injectable steroid prepared by a Massachusetts company to a deadly meningitis outbreak.

The Texas testing program became law in 2005 but wasn't funded until 2007.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.