The drug compound industry, which is responsible for altering drug ingredients to create medications for the individual needs of a patient, takes advantage of weak regulations in pursuit of big profits and leaves patients vulnerable to unsafe medications, writes the president of the National Medical Association in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner. According to Doris Brown, “Illicit compounders have been known to cut corners in order to increase volume, even though it’s against the law.”
“Fraud is common, and patient illness, blindness, and death have been among the tragic results. Others have purposefully mixed in expensive, medically unnecessary ingredients into compounded medicines to drive up reimbursement rates through government health care services like Medicaid.” Brown references the meningitis outbreak of 2012, one of the worst pharmaceutical health crises in American history, in which 64 people died and 700 others were sick due to deplorable conditions in the compounding center. Not much has changed since, she noted, and only 30 percent of states require compounders to report “adverse events” – or any deaths, hospitalizations, or disabilities resulting from their compounded drugs. The FDA has signaled it is taking these issues seriously. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently announced an impending proposed rule setting current good manufacturing practice requirements for compounders.