Earlier this month in Boston, the Associated Press reported on a story of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that was under criminal investigation for over 25 deaths caused by medication that the pharmacy created. According to the report, the case is the largest in U.S. history to be brought against a pharmacy and alleges that the owner of the pharmacy and 14 former employees were engaged in criminal conduct in the creation of medication using expired ingredients.
Evidently, the New England Compounding Center employees are charged with knowingly using expired ingredients as well as failing to follow cleanliness standards that ultimately resulted in over 750 cases of illness and 64 deaths nationwide.
According to the article, the federal government recently seized over $18 million in funds that were being transferred into and out of accounts with various owners’ names on them. The seizures spanned 13 financial institutions and dozens of transfers.
Compounding Pharmacies and Pharmacy Errors
Compounding pharmacies are specialized pharmacies that create medications for specific patient requests. Generally, these medications are created using a number of available ingredients or other medications using specialized tools. The reason most people use a compounding pharmacy is to change either the form of the drug (for instance, changing it from a solid pill to a liquid), or to eliminate a non-essential ingredient from the medication due to allergies or a similar issue.
Compounding pharmacies, like all pharmacies, are subject to some federal regulation to ensure safety. However, they are also exempt from some of the more common regulations, including:
- Compliance with good manufacturing processes;
- Labeling requirements and directions for use; and
- FDA approval prior to marketing of the drugs
While compounding pharmacies may not be subject to all the regulations of regular pharmacies, they can be held responsible when they make an error that results in serious injury or death. Unlike errors that occur in traditional pharmacies, such as prescription misfills and patient mix-ups, the kinds of errors that occur in compounding pharmacies generally involve the safety of the created compound itself.
However, due to the dearth of federal oversight and applicable regulations, proving a case against a compounding pharmacy can be difficult and is best left to an experienced pharmacy error attorney.
Have You Been Injured after Taking a Compounded Medication?
If you or a loved one has recently been provided a medication by a compounding pharmacy that caused you a serious illness, you may be entitled to monetary compensation based on the pharmacy’s negligence or failure to follow applicable regulations. To learn more about how you may be able to recover financial compensation for the injuries you sustained, call one of the dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The dedicated team of pharmacy error attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have decades of experience recovering for their clients in all kinds of pharmacy error cases. Call 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
CVS Pharmacy Mixes Up Prescription, Man Sent to Hospital, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2014.
Pharmacist Overprescribes Blood-Thinner, Causing Man to Cough Up Blood, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2014.