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More recalls for compounding pharmacies

The FDA has announced a recall of sterile products produced by Specialty Compounding and possibly used by patients in Ohio and nationwide. Patients received toxic materials from injectable calcium gluconate mixed at the facility. The product is generally used to lower high potassium levels, cardiac arrest and low calcium levels. At this point, 15 patients have developed a bacterial blood stream infection from the injections, according to the FDA.

Inspections on compounding pharmacies have increased since a September 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis was linked to steroid injections manufactured at the New England Compounding Center. The injections caused a nationwide outbreak that caused 63 deaths. Traditionally, compounding pharmacies make small amounts of a particular drug for individual patients. However, some compounders have begun to act as major manufacturers and ship large amounts of product all over the United States.

There is reportedly a movement developing in the United State Senate to improve the safety of compounded drugs in the form of a bipartisan bill called the Pharmaceutical Quality, Security and Accountability Act. If becomes law, the act would improve the safety of compounded drugs by establishing a national prescription framework for tracing drugs. The bill has made it out of committee and is waiting for full approval by the Senate.

Tainted medications can cause illness or even death. If a family feels a loved one was harmed by a medication, it may be wise to allow a wrongful death attorney to review the case. An attorney may be able to explain the options available to receive payment or medical expenses, lost wages or, in the case of death, compensation for the loss of a loved one that may include a settlement for pain and suffering.

Source: Journal Star, "Widow sues Wal-Mart, others in listeriosis death", Richard Piersol, August 07, 2013

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