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Compounding Pharmacy Safety: Dr. Paul Savage Published in IMJC Post #Meningitis Outbreak
Date:11/2/2012

are safe, effective, high quality, and free of dangerous infectious agents," Savage said. "A compounding pharmacy is an essential component of health care because commercially manufactured medications cannot account for the specific needs of every individual patient or meet the demand of the nation."

Compounding occurs for various and essential reasons. Compounding pharmacists prepare established medications and prescriptions for use in ways that the pharmaceutical manufacturer cannot. Compounding pharmacists can also divide commercially produced drugs into smaller, more affordable, easier-to-store amounts to be used by hospitals or physicians.

US Pharmacopeia regulations have strict guidelines for compounding products. Unfortunately, more often than not, these regulations tend to be enforced retroactively, after an event such as the contamination of corticosteroid preparation such as in the NECC case. Savage said proactive policing of these regulations does not occur with enough regularity, if at all, to ensure that out-of-hospital compounding pharmacies are adhering to these regulations.

The good news is the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) accreditation gives patients, prescribers, and third-party payers a way to select a pharmacy that meets or exceeds US Pharmacopeia's high quality standards. The bad news is only 163 of the 7,000 compounding pharmacies have applied for accreditation. Savage offers some advice to consumers:

"Know your health care provider. A qualified health care provider will have recommendations for compounding pharmacies and be able to provide you with answers regarding the safety and quality required," Savage said. "Ask your health care practitioner if you are receiving any compounded products, and if so, how the safety and quality of the compounder is determined. This is doubly important if you receive IV therapy, injections, or implanted medications."

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SOURCE Ageology
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