This mandatory order comes in the wake of the deadly nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated drugs made at a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. So far, 500 people have been sickened and 33 have died. There have been 24 confirmed cases and three deaths in Florida.
Earlier, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) had attempted to gather information on pharmacies’ compounding practices through a voluntary survey – a survey that 90 percent of pharmacists ignored.
One Pharmacy Board member admitted to Ocala.com that they really don’t know where they stand with compounding pharmacies in the state. DOH says that nearly 18 percent of the 2,075 pharmacies inspected in Florida were compounding drugs, but inspectors still have no idea what or how much of the drugs they are making.
According to a Pharmacy Board member interviewed by Ocala.com, there is very little permitting required for pharmacists to make medicine, and pharmacists in Florida are currently allowed to compound medicine without accreditation. The board member claims that requiring accreditation would provide the public with an added layer of protection against contaminated drugs.
In the past, a Florida compounding pharmacy was linked to contaminated injections that resulted in vision loss to some patients. That same pharmacy also incorrectly mixed a vitamin supplement that led to the deaths of two dozen polo horses.
Currently, Florida law allows compounding pharmacies outside of the state to sell drugs within Florida as long as they are meeting their own state’s regulations, making it difficult for Florida pharmacy regulators to keep tabs on compounded medicines. Compounding pharmacies, which have little U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight, have taken to mass producing drugs and shipping them throughout the nation.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of the fungal meningitis outbreak or have fallen victim to a contaminated drug, the pharmaceutical injury attorneys in Jacksonville at Farah & Farah will help you hold the responsible parties liable for their actions. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for your confidential and complementary consultation today.