Meningitis Outbreak and Compound Pharmacies

Danville, VA - After the meningitis outbreaks, many people have become uneasy about getting injections, especially from compound pharmacies. All the cases are only linked to one pharmacy in Massachusetts.

A compound pharmacy is used when a specific medicine is needed and not available. For example, if you are allergic to an ingredient in a medicine, or if you need a prescription that is no longer made, you would go to a compound pharmacy. CNN reports only one to 3 % of all prescriptions are compounded.

"It's a tragic situation and it should not happen," said Prakash Suthar, pharmacist and owner of Kare Pharmacy.

Suthar makes a living providing medicine to those who need it, and his compound pharmacy is there when specific prescriptions are not.

"Compounding pharmacies when they are operating as actual local independent compounding pharmacies do a lot of good. They create medications that the drug manufacturers can't provide for patients," said Liz Harris, the marketing director at Kare Pharmacy.

But Suthar's modest pharmacy can't compare to the scale of production of the New England Compounding Center.

"They were manufacturing on a large scale, in the sense that they were making a lot of the same type of injectable medication," said Harris.

When Suthar goes into his clean room to create a prescription, he makes comparatively small quantities and takes all precautions. The air quality is regularly checked, they follow board regulations, and they even have a third party routinely examine his products.

"We want to make sure that if I make a product or compound, is it safe for my family member?" said Suthar.

They say before you worry about avoiding prescriptions....

"Know where your medication is coming from, get to know your pharmacist, get to know your local pharmacy, and find out what types of procedures they have in place," said Harris.

Compound pharmacies make prescriptions for every kind of patient, even animals. And they say before you stop or avoid medication, it is important to talk to your health care provider.

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