"60 Minutes'" coverage on meningitis tragedy doesn't tell complete story, NCPA says

March 11, 2013

The "60 Minutes’" story on the 2012 meningitis outbreak and the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which aired on March 10, accurately covered the patient suffering that occurred following the irresponsible actions of the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

“The accounts of former NECC employees that were reported in the story persuasively reinforce the views of NCPA and others that NECC was in fact evading necessary regulation in part by purporting to be a compounding pharmacy,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA in a prepared release.

However, NCPA said that the FDA and the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy did have authority to take action against NECC. “They could have acted to mitigate or potentially even prevent patient suffering. Sadly, they did not,” Hoey said.

Unfortunately, the segment produced by 60 Minutes did not cover any of the benefits of services provided by compounding pharmacies or that FDA had endorsed the role of compounding pharmacies in alleviating drug shortages or in the compounding of the drug Makena used in preterm births, Hoey pointed out.

“As a country we must strike the right balance to go after rogue entities like NECC while preserving patients’ access to the safe and essential compounded medications that their physicians prescribe,” according to Hoey.