As we have mentioned before on our blog, it is extremely important that doctors prescribe patients with correct medications and correct doses of medications in order to prevent patients from suffering unnecessary harm due to allergic reactions, dangerous drug interactions, side effects, underdoses or overdoses. It is also just as important that nurses properly administer patients’ medications in order to prevent patients from contracting infections or sustaining other injuries that are avoidable.
However, patients may also suffer injuries from medication errors even when nurses and doctors provide their patients with quality care. This is because pharmacists and pharmacies also have a responsibility to prevent medication errors from occurring. Pharmacists must make sure they give patients the correct medications they have been ordered to take, and compounding pharmacies must make sure they make unique medication orders in safe and sanitary conditions.
Unfortunately, drugs are not always manufactured in sanitary environments. Just last week it was reported that a compounding pharmacy is recalling 91 batches of its medications that have been distributed to medical facilities because the medications may be tainted. The recalled medications may expose patients to harmful bacteria, which could result in serious health problems or fatal injuries. So far, no known injuries have been reported as a result of the pharmacy’s errors.
Many of our readers in Illinois may remember that just a few months ago, dozens of people were killed and several hundred patients were harmed when a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts had manufactured and distributed tainted steroid injections to more than 70 medical facilities in the country. It was discovered that the pharmacy had violated industry regulations and manufactured the drugs in an unsanitary environment.
The pharmacy that announced the recall of its medications reported that the recall was issued after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discovered that the pharmacy’s operations were not adequate. A spokesperson for the pharmacy said that the pharmacy is working on reviewing and improving its procedures.
Although the pharmacy may be responsible for any injuries suffered by patients prior to the recall, hospitals and doctors may also be responsible for causing patients to suffer harm if they fail to remove the recalled products from their medical supplies. It is important that medical facilities and hospitals always remain aware of recalled medical products in order to avoid patient injuries.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Florida compounding pharmacy’s drug recall involves 91 batches,” April 24, 2013