Lawmakers in Massachusetts are now considering efforts to regulate compounding pharmacies due to the recent fungal meningitis outbreak stemming from tainted steroid injections. New England Compounding Center of Framingham has closed its doors after hundreds of people became sick and more than 50 lost their lives.
On the table is a bill that would require special state licensure of compounding pharmacies, along with penalties for violations. Also being proposed are protections for pharmacy workers who blow the whistle on unsafe practices.
Dangers of Compounding Pharmacies
Pharmacies that compound drugs create medications that are made to fit a patient’s specific medical needs. This is done through altering, mixing or combining ingredients.
Although pharmacy compounding has its benefits, when an FDA-approved drug isn’t able to treat a patient (such as an allergy to a particular ingredient), the compounded drug isn’t regulated by the FDA.
The more recent outbreak of fungal meningitis isn’t the only incident in which this trend has been a problem. In the past, repackaged injections resulted in serious eye infections, and a separate incident of eye infections (with some patients experiencing partial or severe vision loss) was caused by a fungus.
Evidence in a Dangerous Drug Claim
When a drug is believed to be dangerous and causes severe or fatal injuries, it may result in filing a claim against the manufacturer or compounding pharmacy that made the drug. Evidence will be necessary when filing a dangerous drug claim.
For instance, the prescription bottle or container, along with any unused medicine should be collected and kept in a safe place. Medical records that indicate sickness or injury linked to the drug should be compiled. Receipts, medical bills and documentation showing lost income will also be helpful.
Speaking with an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help an injured victim learn if he or she has the right to file a claim and can help with the legal process to recover damages from a compounding pharmacy.