Official: Pharmacy in outbreak lacked proper Minn. licenseby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Massachusetts pharmacy that sold contaminated steroids to two Twin Cities-based pain management facilities did not have a Minnesota license to distribute the drugs in bulk quantities.
The head of the Minnesota Pharmacy Board says the New England Compounding Center only had a pharmacy license that allowed it to fill individual prescriptions.
Executive Director Cody Wiberg would not comment further on the specifics of the situation, which is linked to three confirmed cases of meningitis in the state. But he said Minnesota law is clear on when prescription sales become wholesale transactions.
"Instead of selling to the end user, the patient, they're selling it to somebody else who then may turn around and sell it to the patient," Wiberg said. "That's a wholesale transaction and under Minnesota law you need a drug wholesale license to do that sort of transaction."
Wiberg said he hasn't confirmed whether New England Compounding Center sold steroids in bulk in Minnesota.
"I'm saying more or less hypothetically if they were selling in bulk, if they were not getting prescriptions for individual patients, then they did not have the licensure that they needed," Wiberg said.
Wiberg would not comment further on the specifics of the situation, including whether the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy is investigating the company.
But he said he only needs to receive one complaint to open an investigation. And he added that he has the authority to initiate that complaint himself.