Formerly the Division of Food and Drugs, the major responsibility of this division is to protect consumers from unsafe, fraudulent, or deceptive practices in the food, drug, medical device, cosmetic, pesticide, and other consumer product industries. Its objectives are to ensure a safe and wholesome food supply, control abuse and diversion of pharmaceutical drugs, and reduce public exposure to pesticides and chemicals. The division inspects all fresh food that is imported into Massachusetts, especially seafood. It inspects and licenses food processors, bottlers of soda and spring water, and cold storage facilities as well as bedding and upholstered furniture manufacturers and wholesalers. It issues licenses to all who possess controlled substances with the exception of pharmacies and attempts to reduce the opportunities for theft, tampering, misuse and abuse of pharmaceuticals. The unit establishes standards for effective security and accountability of drugs; ensures compliance by health care facilities, manufacturers/distributors and community-based programs; and provides education to health care providers and the general public. It inspects distributors of pesticide products periodically. Its laboratory facilities analyze food, drugs, and other products, which the division licenses. It performs these testing services for local boards of health, police departments, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, and other governmental agencies.
H28 Drug Control Program
Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality
Department of Public Health
305 South Street, 2nd Floor
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Massachusetts law charges the Drug Control Program to compile and distribute a formulary or list of brand and generic name drugs and pharmaceuticals no longer protected by patent rights and considered by the office to be therapeutically equivalent. Pharmacists must dispense a generic drug unless a physician has specifically indicated "no substitution" in his or her handwriting on the prescription form.