Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hospital Pharmacies Step Up Compounding Efforts In Wake Of Meningitis Outbreak
BOSTON — Physicians and hospitals are scrambling for the specialty compounds produced by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham and a related company, Ameridose. Both companies closed following the national meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroids made by NECC that killed 36 people and sickened 510.
Some hospitals in Massachusetts are responding in ways that could be better for patients.
MGH Pharmacy Goes 24/7
Patients at Massachusetts General Hospital take some 400,000 doses of medication every month — 4.8 million a year. And until two months ago, close to a million of them were compounded by third-party vendors, such as NECC and, even more, Ameridose. Now, most of that work has been brought in house to MGH’s central pharmacy.
It’s a clinical beehive where technicians in varying surgical outfits fill IV bags and sort syringes. Behind air-locked doors, more workers sit under high-tech bays — or “hoods” — compounding sterile medications.
Just outside this “clean room,” lead technician Meghan Federico sorts test tubes.
“It’s what we put our samples in, specimen samples, to test for sterility,” Federico said.
No doubt this was a busy place before Ameridose was closed. But now, this lab is really humming.
continue reading here