Meningitis Outbreak Caused By Unaccredited Pharmacy - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Meningitis Outbreak Caused By Unaccredited Pharmacy


It's a Massachusetts Compounding Pharmacy at the center of the meningitis outbreak, but just what is a compounding pharmacy?

Larry Wagenknecht the CEO of Michigan Pharmacists Association says, "the focus has always been to use manufacturer produced products when they are available but in today's shortage, there are a lot of shortages in pharmaceuticals right now and it's just another way to meet the need of the patients and the physicians."

The FDA has limited authority on these pharmacies, only to ensure the medications themselves are of quality. But they're regulated by state boards and do have to meet quality standards at both the state and national level.

Wagenknecht says "They're all using the highest standards in trying to make sure the products are not contaminated, that they're safe. They're trying to meet the needs of the patients."

In fact, it's more common than many realize. So what does this really mean for a consumer?

Wagenknecht says "I don't think a person needs to be immediately concerned, that just because you have a product that was compounded by a specialty pharmacy that its wrong or bad. Just the opposite this is actually going to heighten the awareness of the product in being a quality and sterile product."

There are an estimated 7,500 pharmacies nationwide that specialize in compounding, only 3,000 provide sterile compounding according to the international academy of compounding pharmacists. Six of them in Michigan are accredited by the pharmacy compounding board.

The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists says the New England Pharmacy was not accredited.

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