Update on medical and regulatory issues pertaining to compounded and FDA-approved drugs, including hormone therapy

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Abstract

Objective:

We review the historical regulation of drug compounding, concerns about widespread use of non-Food and Drug Admiistration (FDA)-approved compounded bioidentical hormone therapies (CBHTs), which do not have proper labeling and warnings, and anticipated impact of the 2013 Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) on compounding.

Methods:

US government websites were searched for documents concerning drug compounding regulation and oversight from 1938 (passage of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [FDCA]) through 2014, including chronologies, Congressional testimony, FDA guidelines and enforcements, and reports. The FDCA and DQSA were reviewed. PubMed and Google were searched for articles on compounded drugs, including CBHT.

Results:

Congress explicitly granted the FDA limited oversight of compounded drugs in a 1997 amendment to the FDCA, but the FDA has encountered obstacles in exercising that authority. After 64 patient deaths and 750 adversely affected patients from the 2012 meningitis outbreak due to contaminated compounded steroid injections, Congress passed the DQSA, authorizing the FDA to create a voluntary registration for facilities that manufacture and distribute sterile compounded drugs in bulk and reinforcing FDCA regulations for traditional compounding. Given history and current environment, concerns remain about CBHT product regulation and their lack of safety and efficacy data.

Conclusions:

The DQSA and its reinforcement of §503A of the FDCA solidifies FDA authority to enforce FDCA provisions against compounders of CBHT. The new law may improve compliance and accreditation by the compounding industry; support state and FDA oversight; and prevent the distribution of misbranded, adulterated, or inconsistently compounded medications, and false and misleading claims, thus reducing public health risk.

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