The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis has many people asking questions about the safety of compounding pharmacies and the origins of many of the medicines we put into our systems everyday. Something that many may not realize is just how hard it can be to track down the source of the drugs that you take on a daily basis.
So far the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the fungal meningitis outbreak has made 344 people sick in 18 states and caused 25 deaths. The outbreak was linked to a batch of injectable steroids that have since been recalled by the New England Compounding Center, a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. The facility has announced that as many as 14,000 patients have been treated with the steroids and may be at risk.
Compounders have recently played an important role in the medical field given the increasing occurrence of drug shortages. The pharmacies have been able to step in and provide some much needed supplies when the big manufacturers are down. Compounders are also useful as cheaper alternatives to the big name brands.