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Reflecting on the Recent Compounding Tragedy

Reflecting on the Recent Compounding Tragedy

I, like most of you, continue to follow the news out of Framingham, Massachusetts, as more is learned about the operations at the New England Compounding Center. ASHP extends its condolences to the families and friends whose loved ones died as a result of this tragedy and expresses its concern for patients who contracted meningitis from the contaminated drug product as well as patients who received the contaminated product.

In my “From the CEO" column in ASHP InterSections, I talk about what needs to happen in order to restore the public’s trust after this tragic event.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the column. Read the full version on ASHP InterSections and let me know how you’ve been impacted by this incident and the steps you are taking to address any new responsibilities and demands imposed as a result.

Reflections on the Recent Compounding Tragedy
Compounding and pharmacy are inextricably linked. From preparing a topical cream to the complex processes involved in preparing sterile products, compounding happens every day in every hospital and health system. What happened at NECC does not reflect the professionalism and commitment to patients provided by pharmacists throughout the country. We cannot allow what happened there to shape the public perception of a critical element of patient care.

It is essential for the safety of all patients that all pharmacies that compound medications, regardless of the setting, adhere to the very highest standards. In addition, state boards of pharmacy will need additional resources to provide strict oversight of compounding pharmacies and provide more transparency.  And when companies cross the line from compounding to manufacturing, there needs to be enhanced coordination between state boards and the FDA to ensure that the necessary regulatory scrutiny is applied.

Read the full column.

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General : Compounding, Patient Safety, Quality