|July 10, 2013
We’ve been telling you about S.959, the Senate compounding pharmacy bill. We and other groups oppose it mainly because it is written in a way that would likely shut off access to important medications like bioavailable estriol and time-released natural thyroid.
Remember the political saying, “Never let a crisis go to waste!” In other words, try to manipulate the political process to get what you want. We thought this was happening with the compounding bill. Now we know it is. And this scheme is fueled by powerful former politicians working for industry and even by a key lobbyist married to a key Senate staffer.
What ANH-USA has feared in particular is that special interests in the pharmaceutical industry would try to use the call for federal regulation of compounding pharmacies to outlaw compounded estriol and thyroid and replace them with standard drugs. Compounded, bioidentical estriol became popular in the first place because the standard drug used for the same purpose was proven to be dangerous, a risk for both heart disease and cancer. It would be understandable that the drug companies would want this huge market back. Here is how some of them have gone about it.
When the call for federal regulation of compounding arose, pharmaceutical companies formed the so-called Working Group on Pharmaceutical Safety to lobby for the bill. The group is led by Tommy Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin and former Director of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush, and recently a failed Senate candidate, and Sarah Sellers, a former FDA official who worked on compounding pharmacy policy. The group represents some of the drug companies with vested interests in the compounding bill: the “participants” of the Working Group include TherapeuticsMD (a specialty pharmaceutical company), KV Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, and Mobius Therapeutics.