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Another compounding pharmacy facing FDA recall

Readers of this blog may recall the controversy late last year over a New England compounding pharmacy whose unsafe practices led to the contamination of their medications and a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis. All told, more than 17,000 potentially-contaminated doses of injectable steroids were sent out to practitioners in 23 states.

Now, it looks like the problem may be repeating itself. A Nevada-based compounding pharmacy called Green Valley Drugs recently recalled nearly all of its products after an FDA investigation revealed that they might not be sterile.

After the meningitis outbreak, the FDA launched an investigation into the nation’s compounding pharmacies to be sure that they were following safe practices. Green Valley’s investigation revealed problems with drug sterility. Although no injuries have been recorded, all of the company’s sterile products were recalled in an effort to avoid another national health scare.

Green Valley was not the only pharmacy to have problems. A pharmacy in Florida had to be taken to court after it refused FDA inspectors access to its records. A pharmacy in Memphis came under fire after the FDA discovered that its workers were potentially contaminating sterile products by resting their hands on surfaces and then going back to work without re-sanitizing. Even worse, the FDA found that the pharmacy did not adequately test its products to be sure they were not contaminated.

Everyone deserves to have access to safe medicines. When pharmacies cut corners on safety, everyone is at risk. Hopefully, the FDA will continue its campaign to hold pharmacies accountable.

Source: The Tennessean, “TN drug supplier recalls all product,” Tom Wilemon, April 12, 2013.

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