Senators: Tom Harkin (IA) Barbara A. Mikulski (MD) Patty Murray (WA) Bernard Sanders (I) (VT) Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA) Kay R. Hagan (NC) Al Franken (MN) Michael F. Bennet (CO) Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) Tammy Baldwin (WI) Christopher S. Murphy (CT) Elizabeth Warren (MA) Lamar Alexander (TN) Michael B. Enzi (WY) Richard Burr (NC) Johnny Isakson (GA) Rand Paul (KY) Orrin G. Hatch (UT) Pat Roberts (KS) Lisa Murkowski (AK) Mark Kirk (IL) Tim Scott (SC)
The Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act (S. 959) will require all pharmacies (including Hospice providers) compounding (making custom IV's) for patients to request permission from the FDA before mixing any IV that contains narcotics. They will charge $15,000 per inspection (each different drug requires a new inspection and an additional $15,000) per drug each time the pharmacy uses a different drug.
This bill is in response to the tragedy in Massachusetts where one specific compounding pharmacy chose to ignore regulations and several people died. While it saddens me to know they put profit ahead of patients' health, this bill will put a terrible financial burden on an organization that is funded solely through donations.
Hospice providers care for the terminally ill, many of whom are in tremendous pain and need individualized IV's with the proper dosing and combination of medications. Pre-made IV's may or may not be sufficient to treat them effectively. Alternative drugs may not work immediately to ease pain. The fentanyl patch (used in lieu of IV's) for instance does not work immediately (might take up to 24 hours to take full effect), so Senators, are you really willing to let people suffer with pain? How about a patient's right to die with dignity and be pain free?
Physicians took an oath "to do no harm", but this bill would make it very difficult for them to treat their patients properly and abide by the Hippocratic oath. Pharmacists who understand the complexities of the dying process may be unable to make proper recommendations to the physicians due to over regulation and may be forced to fill prescriptions that they know won't be the most effective. Pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other clinicians all work together to provide comfort to the dying, and I worry that Senate Bill 959 will put Hospice patients in jeopardy.
This proposed legislation does not address concerns over drug interactions, drug allergies, people who are morbidly obese, people who cannot take oral medications and/or cannot wear a patch. They have unique needs which need to be addressed, but sadly this proposed legislation does not acknowledge or understand them.
Another concern is the cost for Hospice to become approved to compound narcotics; $15,000 per FDA inspection. How long will they have to wait to become approved? Do you recognize that Hospice operates on donations? Do you really think Hospice can afford $15,000/inspection? When patients are admitted to Hospice care, they cannot wait for the government to inspect and approve the use of IV narcotics. Hospice, at least, should be exempted from this legislation and remain under the jurisdiction of their respective state boards of pharmacy. This legislation only helps big pharmaceutical companies, putting even more money into their deep pockets but is very bad for patients and their providers. Please do not allow big pharma to profit at the expense of the rest of us.
This petition closed over 2 years ago
By signing this petition, patients, their loved ones and their healthcare providers will remain in control over their end of life care, NOT the government.