WELLNESS
11/18/2013 02:15 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Senate Approves Bill That Gives FDA More Regulating Power Over Drug Compounders

FILE - In this photo made available, Oct. 9, 2012, by the Minnesota Department of Health shows shows vials of the injectable
FILE - In this photo made available, Oct. 9, 2012, by the Minnesota Department of Health shows shows vials of the injectable steroid product made by New England Compounding Center implicated in a fungal meningitis outbreak that were being shipped to the CDC from Minneapolis. On Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the fungus was in one lot of vials made in August, 2012 by the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass. The specialty pharmacy has been at the center of a national investigation into more than 250 fungal meningitis cases, including at least 20 deaths. (AP Photo/Minnesota Department of Health, File)

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate easily approved a bill on Monday that will give the Food and Drug Administration greater authority to regulate companies that compound sterile drugs and ship them across state lines.

The bill, which comes in response to a fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 that was tied to a tainted drug, would also create a national set of standards to track pharmaceuticals through the distribution chain to help thwart the introduction of fake medications into the drug supply.

The bill, known as the Drug Quality and Security Act, was earlier passed by the House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama within days. (Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)