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How compounding pharmacies rallied patients to fight regulation

Reuters, October 17, 2012

When senators met nearly a decade ago to consider the dangers of pharmacies that mix or alter drugs with little federal oversight, health officials briefed them on some alarming findings about the safety and efficacy of drugs made by these "compounding pharmacies." Dr. Steven Galson, a top official at the Food and Drug Administration, told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that in 2001 the agency had done a "limited" survey of drugs from 12 such pharmacies, including hormones, antibiotics, steroids and drugs to treat glaucoma, asthma and erectile dysfunction. And he shed some light on the risks from an industry now at the heart of today's unprecedented meningitis outbreak.