Tighter pharmacy rules planned after Michigan meningitis deaths

Sep 19, 2013

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation is being proposed to more closely regulate 470 compounding pharmacies in Michigan after a deadly outbreak of meningitis a year ago.

The infection of 264 Michigan residents, 17 who died, is blamed on contaminated steroids produced by a company in Massachusetts. But Michigan's attorney general, a top licensing official and a state senator say oversight of Michigan pharmacies should be strengthened to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

A measure announced Thursday would require pharmacies to undergo regular inspections and criminal background checks. They also would have to maintain accurate records and appoint a "pharmacist in charge" to ensure laws and regulations are followed.

Separately, a multi-county grand jury investigation of the outbreak has been launched at the request of Attorney General Bill Schuette.