Compounding Pharmacies – Untracked?
We all go to our local pharmacies, get our prescriptions, and go home relieved because soon we’re going to feel better. But have you ever thought about where the medicine is coming from? How about how clean it is? Theoretically, we shouldn’t have to think twice about it, but because of multiple outbreaks, such as meningitis, congressional reports suggest that state officials within the country, the people who are in charge of overseeing pharmacies, lack the basic knowledge about the companies they’re in charge of.
Compounding, or in other words the mixing of medicines for individual patients, has been a controversial subject in the medical field. Not only is it not FDA-approved, but out of our 50 states, only Mississippi and Missouri have such licenses for compounding. Also, only those two states track their compounding pharmacies; such as, seeing where their medications go, how sterile they are, whether or not they are going across state lines, etc. These are the questions each compounding pharmacy should be aware of when transporting their medications.
This was all brought to attention last autumn, when thousands of vials filled with steroid shots were sent to multiple doctors’ offices and clinics, and were highly contaminated. This careless act killed 53 people and made another 680 ill. Representative, Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) has spoken concerning the issue of pharmaceutical examinations and responded with support. He encourages legislations to give the Food and Drug Association more influence over compounders. This issue, among many, will be discussed during a scheduled meeting with a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.
In addition, FDA officials last week have results of various compounding pharmacy inspections. Examiners found multiple possible sources of infection, such as unidentified black particles floating in sterile solutions, rust and mold in supposed sanitary rooms, and employers wearing torn gloves. Because of all the findings from actually examining the compounding pharmacies, multiple states began to enact rules and regulations for compounding pharmacies. Take Iowa as an example. Their pharmacy board has decided to run over 600 inspections for pharmacies that ship to the state. Arkansas, Maine, and Oregon, all have pushed stricter regulations in their license application as well, which is given to possible compounding pharmacies.
This is all a start and it’s a step toward bettering the health of our nation’s people. So just keep this in mind and be aware of the medication you’re taking.