Articles Posted in Compounding Pharmacy Errors

When most patients need prescription medication, their doctor can write a prescription that can be filled by the patient at any pharmacy. However, for patients with allergies or sensitivities, or for those who cannot take a standardized drug, compounding pharmacies create specific medications catered to a patient’s individual needs. While compounding pharmacies help a lot of patients, patients of these pharmacies are at an increased risk of falling victim to a Maryland pharmacy error.

Given the niche patient-base they serve, compounding pharmacies are necessary. However, there are some serious safety concerns with these pharmacies. For instance, the medications that compounding pharmacies create are not subject to FDA testing or approval. This lack of oversight increases the chance of a serious pharmacy error.

Recently, a woman ended up with a large hole in her arm as a result of an error made by a compounding pharmacy. According to a local news report, the woman developed a seizure disorder in 2014. Due to other medical issues, she could not take a standard medication, and so her doctor prescribed a B-12 shot that was to be filled by a local compounding pharmacy. For years, the woman took the medicine as specified with no issues.

Most Maryland pharmacies receive medication from a manufacturer or reseller and then fill prescriptions as patients present them. For the most part, pharmacies are not responsible for creating the medications that they provide to patients. Some patients, however, have unique needs that are not met by commercially available drugs. For example, a young child may need a very small dose of a medication that is only available in adult doses, or a patient may be allergic to a particular ingredient in a medication.

While compounding pharmacies fill a much-needed role for some patients, they also present unique risks. Generally, compounding pharmacists attempt to mimic the effects of a particular medication while making some adjustments to the formulation. Because compounding pharmacies create custom prescriptions for patients on an as-needed basis, their product is not FDA-tested or approved.

A recent news report discusses a compounding pharmacy medication error that nearly claimed the life of the patient who thought she was taking the medication as directed. Evidently, the patient suffered from a rare disease called Hashimoto’s disease, a condition in which a patient’s immune system attacks the thyroid, resulting in insufficient hormone levels. As a result of her condition, the woman was prescribed thyroid medication by her physician.

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